Here in Central Pennsylvania we have been having the backyard gardeners dream weather. Hot and sticky with a watering from Mother Nature most evenings. This means great yield on leafy greens, beans, beets, and most of all herbs. Many herbs are loving this weather. When I look across my small raised garden on my back porch , I beam with pride! Then comes the sobering thought. What am I going to do with them ?
So I will give you my proven winning methods of cutting for regrowth, hanging to dry and preserving herbs for all season use. As a bit of a Kitchen Witch, I use herbs for more then cooking. You need to start by knowing how to harvest. The best time is early morning , or late evening. My Grandma always said you never water or cut your plants when the sun is above your head. You NEVER EVER, cut closer then 6 inches from the ground on any herb. You want to allow a great base for the plant to continue to grow. Always water and feed them once you do a cutting, as a simple thank you for your harvest. Once you have harvested all you desire , let’s hang.
I sometimes use a lovely branch or piece of vine from my yard to hang them from on the wall. If you don’t have that in your home a simple hook or nail will do. You will want to bundle or secure the base of the cutting with twine, rope or a rubber band. Hang them upside down in an area that has great air flow, no direct sunlight and they will not be bumped. I allow mine to hang for days, weeks, even months. I love having the decoration and knowing I will be able to use them at some point.
You can also go strait into fresh use and freezing. I make herb butter, herbed oil cubes(freezer), and lots of infused vinegars. With fresh herbs in your garden, being a gourmet chef becomes mush easier and cheaper. You are only limited by your resourcefulness and imagination. Flavored cooking salts have become very popular they are super simple.
PROVENCE Coarse Sea Salt 2 Cups Coarse Pink Sea Salt, 1/2 cup finely chopped basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme MIX it all together and store in decorative mason jar, or salt pot.
Now that we have had Herb 101, you will not let this plant gold go to waste. Anyone Can Cook, and you can use herbs like a Pro!