“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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Seven Springs Homestead:Green Thumb Thursday