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Harvesting, Using and Preserving Herbs

Spice up your cooking with fresh-from-the-garden herbs.  

You can harvest herbs whenever you need them for cooking or garnishing a favorite dish. But you will get the most intense flavor from herbs harvested just prior to flowering. 

Adjust the quantity of herbs used to allow for variations in flavor intensity and your family’s preference. 

In general you will need 2-3 times more fresh as dried herbs.  So if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of dried parsley use 1 Tablespoon of the fresh parsley leaves.

Use a pair of garden scissors or pruners for harvesting. Make your cuts above a set of healthy leaves.  The wound will close faster and the remaining plant will look better.  Rinse off the clippings and remove tough stems and bad leaves.

Store the extra herbs in a vase of water.  Cold tolerant herbs can be stored this way in the refrigerator and loosely covered with a plastic bag.

A bit more information: Preserve a few of your homegrown herbs in oil.  Use a high quality olive or vegetable oil.  Place whole or crushed herbs, garlic, chilis (hot peppers), lemon rind or onion in a clean jar.  Add oil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for longer periods. 

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