Freezing, Drying, Storing, Preserving and Bringing In your Herbs

| 8/16/2011 4:13:59 PM

Tags: Nancy Heraud, Lemon Verbena Lady, Chives, Parsley, Western Reserve Unit, Herb Society of America, Mother Earth News Fair, Rosemary, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Freezing Herbs, Drying Herbs, Storing Herbs, Preserving Herbs, Container Gardening, Herbal Vinegars,

n.heraud2You can check out the Lemon Verbena Lady at her blog   

Because I have been traveling so much this season, I have really forgotten about storage of herbs for the fall and winter seasons. So here’s your herbal wake-up call, as you should be thinking about what herbs you will want to use during the winter. 

Chopped Chives Labeled and Ready for the Freezer 

Freezing Herbs: I always try to make a short list of herbs—chives and parsley at the very least. For many years I got very carried away and was composting unused herbs in the spring. I would only keep herbs in the freezer for six months, but not more than one year. I love to use the small square blue containers because they are very stackable and they fit in the freezer easily. I particularly like to chop up chives and place them in a container and then they are easily used for sour cream on baked potatoes and scrambled eggs on a Saturday morning. Be sure to mark them with the herb name and date you placed it in the freezer.

Drying Herbs for Tea Blends 

Tea Blends: I usually have a lot of herbs that I dry on my clothesline in the basement. They are used for tea blends. These include peppermint, spearmint, orange mint, pineapple mint, sage, lemon balm and anise hyssop. I always try to cut them before they flower since they lose some of their herbal zip if you wait until they flower. You can place your dried herbs in any airtight container. Even a ziplock bag will do. Just as with the freezer you want to mark it and dated it and use it promptly. I also make my own teabags that I buy from Nichols Garden Nursery in Oregon. You just fill each bag with the mixture you wish, take a non-steam iron and seal them. Very easy and fun!

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