Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

May 17, 2010 in Antioxidants, Cooking & Baking Hints, Home and Garden, Mediterranean, Nutrition by Joyce Bunderson

You don’t need to go to Scarborough Fair to find herbs (or hear Simon & Garfunkel); you can go wandering in my herb garden and find many perennial herbs. Maybe you will want to consider planting some in your garden or garden box. How remarkable! You put them in once, and there they are each and every spring. Your herb garden can be one of life’s pleasantries, in the spring, and throughout the growing season.

You may become even more motivated to plant your own by visiting the fresh herb section of your local grocery store. Good grief! The prices are really impressive.

If you have too many herbs in your garden:

  1. Share with a soup kitchen or food pantry.
  2. Share with neighbors.
  3. Freeze in a plastic zip bag; while still frozen, crush and remove heavy stems. They’re good for a long time if kept in the freezer. This is the easiest long-term storage method, quicker than drying them.

Short-term storing of fresh herbs for ready use

If your herbs come from the garden, you won’t have the perfectly vented little plastic container that is purchased in the grocery store (I really mean little). You may want to try my method of storing them short-term.

  1. Snip them in the garden.
  2. Rinse off dust and dirt.
  3. Dry on a paper towel
  4. Put a very slightly moist paper towel in a plastic bag
  5. Put the herbs inside of the paper towel
  6. Don’t close the plastic bag all the way.
  7. Be careful with basil; it doesn’t like it too cold. Try a top shelf of the refrigerator.
  8. Sometimes I cut the herbs and strip any lower leaves and put their stem ends in a jar or a vase. They can make the kitchen smell lovely and last for a week or two.

Because I didn’t grow up on a farm, (instead, I took ‘city girl 101’); I now find that snipping herbs from my own garden is quaint and charming – almost storybook-like. I wonder if you will be captivated too.

It’s true, the nutritionist in me can’t resist telling you that herbs not only add to fragrance and flavor, they add wonderful, powerful phytonutrients to keep your cells healthy and happy. And if they’re growing in your garden, you’ll have them right when you need them.

Bon appetite!

Basil is on the kitchen counter - the Mountain West spring is too cold for it outside.

Basil is on the kitchen counter - the Mountain West spring is too cold for it outside.

Chives, in the allium family already have some seed pods.

Chives, in the allium family already have some seed pods.

Parsley, one of many bunches.

Parsley, one of many bunches.

Oregano with dirt splatted all over it.

Oregano with dirt splatted all over it.

Thick herbs creeping down a rock wall.

Thick herbs creeping down a rock wall.

This is green sage, but I also have purple sage.

This is green sage, but I also have purple sage.

Lemon mint - multiplies a little too well.

Lemon mint - multiplies a little too well.

These two planted themselves in a rock cranny.

These two planted themselves in a rock cranny.

Chamomile is such a lovely fragrance.

Chamomile is such a lovely fragrance.

Tarragon is called 'King of the Herbs' by the French - Oh my goodness, Yum! - Tarragon Chicken, I must give you a recipe.

Tarragon is called 'King of the Herbs' by the French - Oh my goodness, Yum! - Tarragon Chicken, I must give you a recipe.

Another variety of mint, growing with Iris and asters.

Another variety of mint, growing with Iris and asters.

Is the oregano traveling too?

Is the oregano traveling too?