For those of you who are growing herbs in your garden this year, you may be wondering what to do with them! What do you do with that much sage? Prior to you toss your hands up and figure that herb season is over with the first frost, checked out these suggestions on how to collect herbs, and smart methods to protect herbs so you have fresh from the garden taste all year long.
How to Harvest Herbs
- Pick herbs in late morning for best taste, on a warm day.
- Do not let herbs go to flower before you select. Pinch off the flowers as they appear until you are prepared to harvest.
- Many, if not most herbs can be cut whenever you require them, and they regrow rapidly. These are the herbs you need to gather on time.
- Yes, you must wash your herbs before you protect them. Let them dry completely.
- Keep in mind in milder winter season locations, some herbs stay evergreen all winter long. These tend to be the hardier herbs … in my zone 7 garden, lots of Thymes, Sages and Rosemary survive rather well.
Picture from ‘ Rustic Garden Bistro ‘.
How to Preserve Herbs
How to Dry Herbs
Drying herbs is pretty self explanatory, however the most area extensive method to maintain herbs. If you pick this path, you need to have a warm, dry indoor location to hang the herbs. Hang them in small bunches, cover them to keep them tidy, and when dry, strip the leaves off the branches and seal in containers or bags. Make sure they are crispy dry prior to you seal them up. You can also dry herbs in a food or the microwave dehydrator. Take a look at this fantastic tutorial from ‘ Food52 ‘ on how to dry herbs. Nice images below from James Ransom.
Freezing Herbs in Water
Freezing fresh herbs in ice cube trays is pure genius as in this concept from You can also just place sliced herbs into a ziploc bag, squeeze out all the air, and freeze. Break off a piece when required. How to Freeze Herbs in Olive Oil
Love this concept! If you prepare dishes that are more tasty and wouldn’t wish to include water to, freezing herbs in oil is the ideal solution. Use a good extra virgin olive oil and cover sliced herbs in the ice cube trays. Freeze overnight, then pop out of the trays and seal in plastic bags, Freeze until ready to utilize. Add to any dish that has an oil or savory base. This preservation method has the freshest taste to us. Have a look at this
tutorial from ‘The Kitchn’. Preserve Herbs in Salt or Sugar
To preserve herbs in sugar or salt, merely layer the fresh herbs with either in a sealable jar. You can utilize both the salt (or sugar) and the herbs for spices. Some herbs naturally make terrific organic sugars … lavender, mint, rosemary, lemon balm. Others make terrific organic salts, such as basil.
More suggestions from ‘The Healthy Green Cooking Area’. Take benefit of these simple methods to protect herbs for later usage, and appreciate the smell in your kitchen area as an included perk. And if you didn’t grow herbs this year?
More Gardening Ideas & Resources