How to Store Herbs — Fresh from your garden

Make sure you know how to store herbs  — fresh from your garden.  Once the growing season is complete,

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you can harvest the final crop and store for the winter months. Usually in August or September in most areas the herb plants will be at their peak.  You’ll want to save some of your harvest to use in your tasty meals throughout the colder winter months.  Herbs you purchase at the store may not be organic — fertilizers and pest sprays are commonly used by farmers.  If you grow and store your own herbs, you control any chemicals and can grow organic.  This post explains how to store herbs fresh from the garden.




Ways to store herbs

* Drying your herbs is the easiest way to keep them for the months ahead.  Just take some of the stems from the plant, rinse, gently shake dry, tie a piece of twin around the stems and hang in a dry, warm location for several weeks.  Once the stems are completely dries out, place them in glass mason jars.  You’ll easily be able to store rosemary, oregano, dill, parsley, and thyme in this fashion.  This is one of the easiest ways in how to store herbs from the garden or farmer’s market.

* Frozen herbs aren’t beautiful when you go to use them, but it’s a good way to preserve your fresh herbs from the garden for use in sauces, baked dishes, casseroles, or crock pot cooking.  You’ll want to clip the stems from the plant, rinse, gently shake or pat dry.  Then take the individual leaves off the stems, lay them on a flat dish or tray and place this in the freezer.  After the leaves are frozen, you’ll put them all in a freezer zip lock bag that you’ve labeled with the herb name. Then the full zip lock bag goes back into the freezer.  Freezing works well for herbs like chives, rosemary, mint, dill, and cilantro.  An alternate way to freeze is to clean the herb as above, pulse the leaves in the food processor with a little water and then put this paste into ice cube trays.  Freeze the cubes and then once they are completely frozen, you can put the frozen cubes into a zip lock freezer bag into the freezer.

*Preserving the herbs in glass jars using sea salt is how to store herbs in another way.  The natural appearance of the herb will be maintained when storing in this fashion.  Again, you clean the stems of herb with water and pat completely dry.  Then using glass mason jars you’ll layer the herb with a covering of sea salt — alternating until you’ve filled the jar and the herbs are covered with the sea salt.  To use your herbs, remove the leaves from the salt and add them in your recipes. The sea salt may retain a slight flavor from the herbs. You can then use the salt in recipes to add a little touch of herb flavor to a dish. Or, you can reuse the salt for the next batch of herbs.

Using these methods of storing your herbs, you can use herbs from your garden during the non-growing season.  How to store herbs fresh from the garden?  It’s as easy as drying, freezing, or salting!

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