By late September, many things in the garden are finishing up and other may be still producing their fall crop. It’s the season to reap the benefits of all your hard work put into the garden. There are many ways to preserve your harvest, including your fresh herbs. Preserving herbs gives you the benefit of using your basil, thyme, and more throughout the fall and winter. How lovely!
There’s nothing like the flavor of fresh herbs when you are cooking. I added a small herb garden this year and going out and clipping fresh rosemary and basil to use in my meal prep…is one of my favorite things! After harvesting your herbs from the garden, now is the time to take some steps and preserve what is left for winter storage.
There are a couple of ways to preserve herbs for use in your soups, stews, sauces and more. One way is to freeze your herbs. For this method all you need to do is remove your herbs from their stems and mix in a small amount of oil…just enough to coat. Then pour into a plastic freezer bag, and freeze flat. When ready to use, you can just cut the section you need or break off a piece. You can also freeze the herbs and oil in ice-cube trays, then once frozen, remove from tray and store in a freezer bag or container.
Another simple way to preserve your herbs is to dry them. Herbs such as oregano, parsley and thyme can be air-dried and enjoyed later. All you need to do is tie the herbs together with string and hang inside, out of direct sunlight and in a dry space. Once completely dried, you can them crumble the herbs off the stems and store in a glass jar or airtight container.
Be sure to harvest herbs after the flower buds appear but before they open. That way, you’ll be sure to get the highest concentration of essential oils. You’ll also want to make sure you bring in any herbs you want to preserve before the first frost.
You can watch our Facebook Live video where Elspeth gives a demonstration on preserving herbs…and I make us a beverage using fresh mint….yum! 🙂
What a wonderful way to enjoy the fresh flavor of oregano, basil, thyme and sage, as we prepare meals this fall and winter. Do you preserve herbs in the fall? Let me know in the comments how you save and use fresh herbs.
Grow with Me and Wile’s Lake Farm Market is sponsored by Wile’s Lake Farm Market located in Wileville, Nova Scotia. Wile’s Lake Farm Market has fresh and cut herbs available in their market. Their knowledgeable staff is also available to answer any questions you may have.