Historically herbs have been used not only to add flavor to food but also to preserve and for medicinal purposes. Another passion of mine is the use of herbs. I have started to research the use of herbs for digestion and anxiety and cold and flu. I struggled this summer to find herb plants to purchase locally for my garden so for next summer I will either grow the plants I want from seed myself or buy them organically online from a reputable grower.
We had a fantastic year in our herb garden. Herbs are easy to grow plus animals leave them alone and they are virtually unaffected by insects.
Last week I cut a huge amount of parsley, sage and celery from the garden. I don’t really consider celery an herb but this variety produces more leaves than stalk so I dry and grind the leaves into a powder and use the powder to flavor all kinds of dishes including soups.
Take a look at my 6 foot island covered in what I cut. Keep in mind the amount of sage I cut was from one single plant and the celery and parsley were from only 6 plants. Wow huh?!
It took me several hours to carefully look all the leaves over and remove them from the stems and clean them. About 6 hours in fact. But I enjoyed watching “Hot in Cleveland” on my phone while I picked.
After the drying process in my dehydrators I ran all of the dried leaves through my mini chopper and got an entire quart of parsley and more than a pint of sage. I still haven’t finished the celery.
I know you’re thinking I could have purchased dried parsley and sage from the grocery store and saved myself a lot of time and they wouldn’t have cost that much. Yep I could have. However those herbs wouldn’t be as fresh and Lord knows where those herbs are grown or under what conditions. I don’t mind the work. I enjoy it and other than the initial cost of a few bucks they are free. Also keep in mind I have been cutting the herbs all Spring, Summer and Fall and the sage is a perennial and the parsley reseeds itself. It’s definitely the gifts that keeps on giving.
For me this is “Old Ways meets New Ways” because I produced my own herbs (old) and entertained myself watching “Hot in Cleveland” (new). I love Betty White.
Do you preserve your own herbs?