Preserve your Homegrown Herbs: 3 Simple ways

“How I would love to be transported into a scented Elizabethan garden with herbs and honeysuckles, a knot garden and roses clambering over a simple arbor.” –  Rosemary Verey

Signs of fall are beginning to pop up everywhere at Pure Grace farms. The green bean plants look shaggy, corn stalks are turning yellow, and pumpkins have turned bright orange overnight.   Homegrown Vegetables - Sustainable Living with Pure Foods A sure signal it’s time to harvest the flavorful home grown herbs planted in late spring and early summer, before the chill sets in.  Now is when sustainable living kicks into full gear. Homegrown tomatoes will be canned, frozen, sun dried and made into every kind of sauce imaginable. Root vegetables, leafy greens, onions and garlic are readied for planting to ensure a steady supply of pure food over the winter and on into spring of next year.

How to Preserve Homegrown Basil: In the Freezer-My first choice for preserving fresh garden herbs is to place them in a bed of ice.  I appreciate simplicity and this method is very simple.  The herbs retain their color and flavor my pure food recipes as they would if I had picked them straight out of  my garden.

When harvesting your herbs it is good to remember that basil, savory, parsley, marjoram and dill are considered tender herbs and will not survive even a light frost.  The leaves from these herbs should be harvested and the plants removed. For sustainable living, you can leave a  few plants until they flower and produce seed.  Then harvest the seeds to use for next years season. 

How to Dry Homegrown Herbs: In The Pantry-Drying fresh homegrown herbs does not have to be difficult.  I have found a way that works for me that is quite simple and painless.

Oregano, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, mint and sage are hardier herbs. Harvest the leaves heavily leaving plants intact. Before the first frost, place a clay pot upside down over the herbs and spread a thick layer of straw around the pot. This helps to keep the plants viable and they will return in full force next year in spring and early summer.

Preserving homegrown herbs makes sense. You save money, they are delicious for pure food recipes and preserving also increases your progress towards sustainable living.

How to Preserve Homegrown Basil: In the Freezer-My first choice for preserving fresh garden herbs is to place them in a bed of ice.  I appreciate simplicity and this method is very simple.  The herbs retain their color and flavor my pure food recipes as they would if I had picked them straight out of  my garden.

Fresh herbs are a delicious way to season pure food recipes.  Unfortunately, they do not stay fresh forever. 

I would like to share with you three simple ways I preserve my herbs after harvesting. The first way is to freeze them in small usable portions.  These little cubes work great in soups and sauces for a wonderful homegrown fresh flavor. 

How to Preserve Homegrown Herbs with Sea Salt: In the Pantry

The second way I preserve herbs is using sea salt as a natural preservative.  The beauty of sea salt is that it preserves your herbs fresh and once preserved no refrigeration is necessary.

 The final way I preserve my herbs is by drying on a simple homemade drying rack.  Tim has made several racks. They are great for stacking. The drying  process is quick and easy.

How to Dry Homegrown herbs: In The Pantry-Drying fresh homegrown herbs does not have to be difficult.  I have found a way that works for me that is quite simple and painless.

Once dried, herbs can be mixed together in different combinations to make tasty blends that save you the expense of buying them at the grocery store. Best of all you know exactly what you are getting when you grow, preserve and make your own blends. Sustainable living at it’s best.

I will be sharing  my favorite seasoning blends in my upcoming post. Write and tell me your all time favorite seasoning blend and I will spread the love and share some of those recipes in my next post.

This post shared with:

Seven Springs Homestead:Green Thumb Thursday

The Best Pizza Ever Starts with Fresh Ingredients

“It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.” – Phillip Green

This past weekend Tim and I came to the Seattle area to spend time with our family and friends for the holiday weekend. We leave tomorrow for Victoria, British Columbia to enjoy a much needed bit of rest and relaxation.  

Homemade Garden Fresh Pizza Sauce is simmered slowly to bring out the rich flavor of the fresh garden herbs, tomatoes, and vegetables.

Homemade Pizza Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs

Rarely do I get the timing right for our little excursions because there is always something to be done in the garden.This vacation was no exception. The day we left I picked 30 pounds of tomatoes and had no time to do anything with them.This was quite the dilemma for me as I absolutely do not like to waste anything.  I knew by the time we returned home the tomatoes would surely be spoiled.

Parmesan and Basil Pizza Dough - Parmesan and basil kneaded into the dough creates a crust with a delicious crispy salty bite

Parmesan and Basil Pizza Dough

I fret and stewed for a while (no pun intended) and eventually came up with a plan. Since we were driving, I could box up the tomatoes, add some peppers, garlic, basil, and rosemary and bring them along with me.

Famous Tomato and Basil Pizza Pie-Fresh ingredients are what make all the difference when looking for a pizza recipe that stands out in a crowd.

Famous Tomato and Basil Pizza Pie

Our friends and family would be happy to take some of those tomatoes off our hands and I would have all the fixings for my Famous Tomato and Basil Pizza Pie. 

 It was a win-win situation for everybody.

Parmesan and Basil Pizza dough

Homemade Garden Fresh Pizza Sauce

Famous Tomato and Basil Pizza Pie

Famous Tomato and Basil Pizza Pie shared with  Peas & Crayons *In the Kitchen With Jenny: Foodie Friday’s *Captain America and His English Rose: Pretty Pintastic Party *2 Crochet Hooks: Retro Re-Pin Party

Home Grown Tomatoes

“Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes, What would life be like without home grown tomatoes. Only two things that money can’t buy, That’s true love and home grown tomatoes.” John Denver, ‘Home Grown Tomatoes’ (from a song written by Guy Clark)

This time of year the tomatoes are coming on fast and furious. Therefore, on this my inaugural blog, I thought it would be fun to talk about one of my favorite treats in the garden.  The home grown tomato.

Juicy Tomatoes - Pure Grace Farms

Heirloom Tomatoes

I look forward to that fresh taste all winter long. Once you taste a home grown tomato you know exactly what I’m talking about. They simply don’t compare to the hard, tasteless tomato you buy in the grocery store. If you haven’t experienced the difference, stay tuned. I intend to help you grow your own juicy, delicious home grown tomatoes. Another blog for another day.

 I planted fourteen tomato plants this year in several varieties including Celebrity, Oregon Spring, Plum, Italian, Paste and Beef which are perfect for making Garden SalsaOrecchiette Pasta Salad,  BLT’s and Famous Tomato and Basil Pizza Pie with Fresh Mozzarella. Why fourteen plants, though? I can never have too many, although when I am pruning tomatoes it seems like I might have overdone it just a bit! I love the versatility of a really good tomato. Each kind of tomato has it’s own flavor and purpose, which blends into each meal.  I make a variety of dishes that taste great using fresh tomatoes now, and I also preserve the tomatoes  by canning, drying or freezing to enjoy their fresh taste all year long.

Harvesting Tomatoes at Pure Grace Farms

Harvesting Tomatoes at Pure Grace Farms

I’m out in my garden every day this time of year, The benefits are not only in the beautiful, delicious vegetables. There is something very therapeutic about tending, caring and harvesting your own vegetables. I have yet to find something else as rewarding. 

Hopefully you have already enjoyed some home grown tomatoes this year.  If not, head over to your local farmers market. Just remember, the  tomatoes there might not look as pretty as those you would find in a grocery store because they haven’t been genetically altered for uniformity or gassed for color.  Don’t let looks deceive you though; it’s the taste that makes all the difference.  

Bayou BLT with Avocado-Grilled sourdough, crispy Bacon, fresh tomatoes and a spicy avocado cream help to transform an ordinary BLT sandwich into something outstanding.

Bayou BLT with Avocado.

Orecchiette Pasta Salad with Sweet Italian Sausage, Fresh Tomatoes, Colorful Peppers, Basil and Feta cheese

Orecchiette Pasta Salad with Sweet Italian Sausage, Fresh Tomatoes, Colorful Peppers, Basil and Feta cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bayou BLT with Avocado 

Garden Fresh Pasta with Italian Sausage, Feta Cheese and Toasted Walnuts

 

Coming up Tuesday,  September 4th

  • The Best Pizza Ever Starts with Fresh Ingredients
  • Want to Up Your Game? Infused oil,  the Way to Go
  • Drying Herbs, Enjoy that Garden Fresh Taste All Year

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “sponsored links.” This means if you click on the link you will be directed to a sponsored site. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Pure Grace Farms

“Where you have a plot of land, however small, plant a garden. Staying close to the soil is good for the soul.” -Spencer W. Kimball

Hi friends. I’m glad you stopped by for a visit. Who knew starting a blog would be so labor intensive? Well, I did, actually.

shari Yet, I see this work as a labor of love because I am sharing something I am deeply passionate about, and I can hardly wait to share that with you. Unfortunately, patience has never been my virtue and at times the enormity of starting a blog leaves me in a panic.  Tim (my husband, the sane and practical one in the family) decided I needed a bit of advice after observing a small melt down one day.  His advice was very simple…  “Slow down, relax, Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and of course, he was right.   

Thankfully creating this blog is a lot like playtime mixed in with every day routine for me. During the day, I flit back and forth from my kitchen to the garden, with camera in hand, at night, new recipes, garden ideas and you tube videos infiltrate my dreams.

Shari in the garden

I find it exciting to plant a seed in the soil and then watch every day for signs of life.  I see the first green shoot poke its head from its bed and my heart skips a beat.  Nurturing my little guy from a tiny seed into full maturity allows me the freedom to dream of the wonderful things I will do with the harvest. I imagine recipes that taste better because I have used produce grown at home.

Fresh Picked Basil From Pure Grace Farms

 I love creating seasoning blends from basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, savory, garlic and peppers that cost pennies to grow instead of a ridiculous price at the grocery store.

 

This is my passion in a nutshell….to plant and grow food as close to nature as possible and to create food from the harvest into dishes that are simple, fresh, healthy and delicious.  

shari-4 Of course, I’m learning as I go. I welcome and value your input, suggestions and feedback.  I hope to inspire you, and be inspired by you as well. This site is not only about my passions in gardening, cooking, and preserving the harvest.

Tim and Shari

I would also like to know what some of your passions are and learn from you as we journey on this path together and discover all the ways to live a simpler, healthier, tastier and more independent way of life. 

I look forward to a nice long visit and hope that in time we will become good friends.

Shari  
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