Tuesday 31 March 2020

Stay at home : Harvest & Preserve herbs

Harvesting and Preserving herbs from the garden

Getting food into the house has proven to be challenging over the last few weeks. We normally use Ocado for food deliveries but in recent weeks, both their app and website have been impossible to get into.  We are gradually adapting to our new way of life but being in isolation means we can't simply just pop out to the stores as we have done so often in the past.

With dwindling fridge supplies, I walked around the garden today for a breather and was grateful to find three clumps of largely neglected chive plants - two in the herb garden and one in the vegetable patch.

There was rhubarb and herbs too; bay leaves from a potted bay plant, marjoram with new growth, hardy rosemary and some overgrown spring onions.  I breathe a sigh of relief - we won't starve - sign of life in the garden means we won't starve. 

My plan is to keep harvesting new leaves for preserving (either by drying or freezing). The plants should then continue to grow over the coming months, leaving me with a bountiful harvest of herbs by the winter when the plants slow or die down.

  • Bay leaves 
  • Rosemary 
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Oregano/Marjoram 
Usage: pasta sauces, stock, soup, roasts

Harvest now to cook/freeze:
  • Chives (leaves and young buds - you can eat the young buds too) 
  • Overgrown spring onions 
Usage: Scrambled eggs/ omelette with chives, savoury chive pancake, fried noodles with chives, new potatoes with chives ...

Seeds to sow now (in pots):
  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Basil
  • Spring onions
Now, herbs may not fulfill hunger but if sourcing food remains as it is, we may find ourselves in a position where herbs are but a luxury to have and wading through supermarket aisles to find a couple of bay leaves might be the last thing on our minds.

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