Category Archives: Harvesting herbs

Harvesting Herbs In the Off Season

Besides growing herbs indoors I have been able to harvest some of the herbs from my garden throughout much of the winter.

For Christmas this year I made an herb cream cheese spread from fresh parsley, green onion tops, orange mint, and sage.  If you have no or light snow cover it is easy to see which herbs look green.  Otherwise you will have to carefully uncover a few herbs and see what you can find.  My parsley is green all winter.   For younger or smaller herb plants harvest with care.  If you harvest too much you may damage or kill the plant.  My sage is large and well established, I have many parsley plants, the green onions are plentiful as well as the orange mint.  I would not recommend harvesting rosemary over winter unless you are growing it indoors or live in a zone 7 or warmer climate.

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Harvesting My Herbs

I have been harvesting my herbs for awhile now both for immediate use and for preserving for later.

Many herbs I just pop into a freezer bag and put  in the freezer.  This winter I can just take out the amount I need for a recipe.  After freezing they easily crumble into whatever dish I am creating.  I use them fresh from the bag without thawing first.  I also prepare some by drying. In this case I rinse them off and set them on the trays of my dehydrator.  I don’t turn the dehydrator on.  At room temperature in my dry climate they are usually dry in a day or so.  I then seal them in storage bags or glass jars and store in a cool dry place.  Again, I don’t crumble them but leave them as whole as possible to preserve as much as the oils as possible.

Of the many herbs I use fresh from the garden basil is one of my favorite.  I don’t think you can ever have too much basil.  When using herbs don’t be afraid to experiment.  As long as you know it is edible and does not cause any problems for you specifically (such as allergic reactions) feel free to try different combinations and see what you think.  I love fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, chives, and cheese in my scrambled eggs.  Another way I love basil is to layer fresh zucchini, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and green onions in a glass pie pan and bake in the oven until the zucchini is tender.  Sometimes I top it with cheese before baking.  Since it is almost time to eat I think I will go prepare some right now.

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