We started gardening in 2009 and we didn't add herbs until the following year. That year we only grew basil. Since then, we have added many herbs. Our goal is to become completely sustainable year round and no longer purchase herbs from the grocery store. During the summer, we use many fresh herbs. To be sustainable year round, we have to grow enough herbs to dry and jar. So far, we are certain we will have plenty of sage. Instead of posting tons of pictures, I decided to take a video tour of our garden. Next time, I get hubby to video tape and I'll be in front of the camera.
Drying herbs is an easy garden task. I like to harvest herbs in the morning. After harvesting, I rinse them off and dry them with a paper towel. It is important to dry the leaves thoroughly before you store. If you do not the herb could mold in the bag. Next, I take some twine, wrap it around the stems and place it in a paper sack. We store it on a cabinet shelf and in one-two weeks it is ready.
I like to harvest an herb each week, so moving forward I will have an herb to jar each week. Now that the school year has wrapped up, I can get caught up. Today, my boys and I emptied three paper sacks and there aren't any more in the cabinet. Each sack had a different herb: sage, thyme and oregano. I take the leaves off of the stems and then my boys crumble and jar them. The only one we didn't crumble is the thyme; it is the right size.
One of our boys' favorite breakfast items is scrambled eggs with tarragon leaves. This morning we harvested some leaves and they helped cook their own breakfast. Yesterday, we harvested some chocolate mint and made some Minty Sweet Lemonade. We didn't have enough white sugar so we had to substitute one cup of brown sugar to our recipe. They enjoyed their eggs and had a glass of minty lemonade with breakfast.
Jeremiah asked, "Mommy, can I eat the mint leaf?"
"Sure," I replied.
"It tastes just like your chewing gum."
He ate every mint leaf...his brother did not. I am enjoying my time with our boys this summer. I hope, by the end of the summer, our boys can independently identify all of the herbs we grow.