Sunday, September 16, 2012

Where Do I Begin, Herbally Speaking? Harvest Your Herbs!

Well, just got back from a bus trip to Chanticleer Garden near Wayne, Pennsylvania and then up to the New York Botanical Garden and the High Line in New York City.  It was a wild and crazy trip which I will tell you about in the coming days.  Right now I want to get you moving to harvest your basil in whatever way you wish.  I thought it might be OK with a couple of 40 degree days, but we have had more than that!  You can process it in a blender or food processor and freeze it in ice cube trays with oil or water or put it in vinegar of apple cider, white wine or red wine.  It just doesn't dry well.  You can also make jelly like I do.  I need to cut my cinnamon basil at the least and make it tomorrow.  Then I hope to cut some of the sweet basil and hopefully some of it will hold on a bit longer into the season.  I just want to get you thinking about ways to preserve it now that the season is winding down!  Tarragon is also another herb that can't be dried, but can be preserved in vinegar.  You can use the preserved tarragon just like you would use fresh.

You also should think about drying any of the following herbs:  lemon balm, lemon verbena, mints (every kind), anise hyssop, thyme, sage and lovage.  Once they are completely dry you can place your dried herbs in plastic bags, jars or plastic containers.  I would label and date them so you know what each item is.  You can cut some parsley and put it in a plastic container and freeze it.  Parsley will stand a light frost.  You can also chop up some chives in a container and use it this winter for eggs and baked potatoes or for just about any recipe that uses onions.  I like the flavor because it is a lighter onion flavor.  Well, I have been busy.  Hope you are all well.  Talk to you later.


Carol said...

I'm not ready for the end of the growing season yet. With the extreme heat that kept us inside most of the season it doesn't feel like we've had summer :0(. I was working out in the herb garden today though. Cleaning it up and dividing some plants.
Sure hope next summer is better.

Anonymous said...

Alas, I have none left to harvest! I do like the sound of the basil jelly though.

lemonverbenalady said...

Yes, I hope so as well Carol. We are getting rain tonight and tomorrow so I was out clipping away this afternoon.

Tracey, sad for you that you have no herbs to harvest, but maybe they are all preserved!:)