our organic garden

Fresh herbs are delightful for cooking, infusing drinks, and simply attractive in a garden. We have a small balcony garden and have grown many things since we’ve moved in throughout the years. We try to change it up a bit each year to help incorporate different types of flavor with our cooking!

This year our herb garden consists of:

  • Spicy Oregano
  • German Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Sweet Basil

Other stuff in our garden:

  • Bush Tomatoes
  • Strawberry – same plant surviving for the past 5 years!
  • Cubanelle Peppers
  • Blue Hydrangeas

 

Today was harvesting day! It’s a pretty exciting day for me because I love to snip away, dry, store, and create personalized herb labels to eventually share with family and friends.  I’m currently drying these individual herbs in their unique ways –

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Here are some tips and tricks on harvesting and drying a few of our favorite herbs:

  • Spicy Oregano
    • Time: End of Summer
    • Cut: The stems just above the plant’s lowest set of leaves; this aids in new growth
    • Wash: Cold water
    • Dry: Bundle the stems together (using string) and hang them to dry. Dark, cold drying area is preferred so I usually put them in a brown paper bag (after the moisture from washing has dried up completely) and leave it in a pantry cub-board.
    • Prep to store: Crumble off the dry leaves and place in air tight container in dark area or the fridge for longer lasting taste.

 

  • German Thyme
    • Time: Mid- Summer
    • Cut: Stems just above the plant’s lowest set of leaves; this aids in new growth
    • Wash: Cold water
    • Dry: Bundle the stems together (using string) and hang them to dry. Dark, warm drying area is preferred so I usually put them in a brown paper bag (after the moisture from washing has dried up completely) and leave it on the counter.
    • Prep to store: Crumble off the dry leaves and place in air tight container in dark area or the fridge for longer lasting taste.

 

  • Rosemary
    • Time: Mid- Summer
    • Cut: The top 2 -3 inches of each stem – leaving green leaves and being careful not to cut the plant too close. You want to be sure and give it time to recover before winter.
    • Wash: Cold water
    • Dry: Bundle the stems together (using string) and hang them to dry hang in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Alternatively, you can dry the rosemary in the oven by placing them on a cookie sheet with the single layer of rosemary leaves. Heat oven to 200 degrees and leave for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir the rosemary around every 15 minutes so they don’t burn, and remove from the oven when the leaves easily crumble between your fingers
    • Prep to store: Crumble off the dry leaves and place in air tight container in dark area or the fridge for longer lasting taste.

 

  • Parsley
    • Time: Mid-to-late Summer
    • Cut: The base of the plant to help promote growth
    • Wash: Cold water
    • Dry: Evenly lay out the stems and let air dry. I also dry them under the sun
    • Prep to store: Crumble off the dry leaves – separating the stems. Put the dry leaves in a mortar and pestle and grind them until they’re crushed. Place crushed leaves in air tight container in dark area or the fridge for longer lasting taste.

 

Let me know if you have any questions or have any tips/tricks that have worked for you. I’d love to learn more!

 

 

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