Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Preserving Fresh Herb Plants

herb_plantsBy Peter D Vizard

It is great to have fresh herbs at your fingertips for kitchen and medical use. However it has been said, that all things must come to an end and this applies to the seasons, which means the end of your fresh herbs.

To be able to make the best of the herbs all year round, you will want to know how to preserve them so they can still be used during the colder months.

When to Harvest

The best time to harvest your herb plants is just before flowering, which will occur when the weather begins to cool. Harvesting in late summer will give you the best flavor.

You can also harvest during the growing season to create extra growth start your stock. Cut the stems in mid-morning after the morning dew has dried but before the afternoon sun has started to warm them.

Air Drying of Fresh Herbs

Air drying works best with fresh herbs that have lower moisture content like oregano, rosemary and dill. Herbs with higher moisture will dry better using a dehydrator.

To air dry fresh herb plants use the following steps:

1. Cut the stems and remove any unhealthy leaves.

2. Rinse stems with some cool water,

3. Pat dry completely. Important to ensure no mould occurs.

4. Bundle together in batches of four to six stems, and hold them together with a rubber band. Keep in mind that the stems will shrink as they dry so you will need to check them regularly.

5. Store bunches upside down into brown paper bags that have a number of holes punched in them.

6. Tie the bags closed and hang them up in a warm, well aired room

7. Check them every week or two.

8. Once your herbs are sufficiently dried, store in airtight containers.

Keep the containers away from direct sunlight and use within one year.

Using this process for preserving your herbs, you will be able to enjoy the savory aroma and flavor of home grown herbs year round. Your family will be amazed with how your will have fresh herb taste even in the middle of winter!

Would you like the easy steps on having your own Herb Garden? This is only one of many free articles like information on Fresh Herb Plants from http://www.MyIndoorHerbGarden.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_D_Vizard

Herb Plants

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