Article by Pete Steel
So, the agony has passed. You’ve nurtured the herbs in your home herb garden and now you are seeing results. But what do you do now? Don’t despair, using herbs from a home herb garden is the good part. This is the ecstasy.
Always remember that the harvesting of any basket herbs 1produce is a two step process: gathering and storing. Storage needs planning, whilst gathering is usually arbitrary and depends on when you feel your plants to be ready.
One of the great benefits of herbs has always been their excellent storage capability without any great loss of their primary virtue. Using herbs from a home herb garden depends both on the type of herb and your intended usage; you need to prepare for one of several storage methods. For aeons past herbs have been dried or pickled in salt or vinegar. Today we can add freezing to our storage arsenal, for instance, you can freeze culinary herbs in ice blocks for later use in stews and soups.
Using herbs from a home herb garden – rules of engagement – gathering.
There are some simple rules to follow when gathering or storing. The process is really not complicated. To gather effectively whilst preserving their virtues follow these rules:
1. In the week before gathering is to take place, avoid spraying any insecticide near plants.
2. A dry, balmy, moderate spell in June is your best option in Northern climes. (For Southern hemisphere gardeners this means December)
3. Harvest in mid-morning to avoid excessive heat whilst harvesting.
4. Ensure target plants are insect-free.
5. Don’t be greedy. Remove 25% or less of any bushy plant to enable strong regrowth for later use. Discard damaged leaves or stems.
6. If possible, shelter the target plants with shadecloth the night before harvesting takes place. This should be placed on a frame to avoid contact with your plants.
Using herbs from a home herb garden – rules of engagement – storage and preservation.
basket herbs 2We have already covered the choices here. (Drying, pickling or freezing) Let’s cover the how in broad terms. The most important thing when using herbs from a home herb garden is common sense; think about what you are about to do. If all went well with the harvesting, we now have a healthy batch of produce.
Storage method 1 – drying.
Preparation: obtain a packet of rubber bands, a ball of string and some “s” shaped wire hooks.
Method: Take lengths of string and make ‘clotheslines’ in a shaded dry spot. Separate herbs to be dried into bunches comprising 5 to 10 stems. (Depending on type of herb – you will soon get a feel for quantities) Secure these together by twisting the rubber band around the base of the stems. Use the “s” wire hooks to hang the bunches on the ‘clotheslines’.
Storage method 2 – preserving.
Definitely my favourite way of using herbs from a home herb garden.
Preparation 1: obtain several types of bottles with corks capable of a reasonably tight seal. (The following paragraphs will indicate what containers you will need) Steep clean fresh herbs in oil or vinegar. Rosemary, thyme, tarragon, mint, basil and sage all work well. Serve as a herbed vinegar or use as a flavoured oil for cooking or salads.
Preparation 2: Obtain several types of containers with lids capable of a reasonably tight fit and a bag of coarse salt. Place herbs and salt in alternating layers in a container. (Old ice cream containers work for me) When all moisture is leeched out, remove herbs and use aromatic salt in table grinders.
Storage method 3 – freezing.
Preparation: obtain a roll of wax paper and a wide flat container capable of use in a freezer.
Method: Tear or slice herbs into convenient sizes and place on layers of waxed paper in the wide, flat container. Place in freezer overnight. Remove container, discard wax paper and repack frozen herbs into more convenient freezer storage containers.
There are many variations to the above methods of using herbs from a home herb garden, but the first two have been used successfully for centuries (sans rubber bands) and the freezing method is a simple one. Try these before you buy dehydrators or ruin your oven or microwave.
http://herbgardenblog.com Pete Steel has grown herbs for 25 years.
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I love to read and study about herbs. I even grow a few in my home to use in cooking. I would love to grow lots outside, but I have a tiny yard and a dog. I was able to take a class about Herbs several years ago and I learned a lot from our Native American Teacher us all about them in the classroom and outdoors at her home. The uses are many in her culture. It was so interesting. Here are some easy ways to use your own herb plants at home. I wanted to share this on ehow in case someone out there is looking for a way to make their own herbal remedies at home. Read through everything first before beginning any processes. Have fun!
The common herb Stinging Nettle is one of the most nutritious plants out there! There are 26 minerals in it for a healthy body. It fights toxins in the body. It is very durable.
The plant has serrated edges on the leaves, which contains a toxin that leads to welts. Be careful, this herb “bites!” You must fold the leaves before eating or you will blister your tongue. You can eat it in big amounts and can survive on it if need be. Also, first wash it in very warm water and the “spiny” things will be gone.
It tastes like spinach. Use it as a food. It is good for blood, chest, allergy, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, joints, prostate, asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, TB, Laryngitis, allergic nasal symptoms, treatment of kidney stones, diuretic, bladder, gout, rheumatism, hives (take orally as extract or tea from leaves), PMS, bloating, decreases excess urination, breast tenderness, sciatica, MS, and fights enlarged prostate glands.
Urtication is a process of flogging with nettles by deliberately slapping fresh branches or leaves repeatedly against bare skin so nettles cause inflammation and stinging as in the treating rheumatism. This remedy is to bring temporary relief. This common herb is also said to prevent baldness.
Make a Juice from the roots and leaves. Use with honey and make a tea to drink.
The Stem will get tall when mature. In the fall, the stem has fiber and is often used for strong thread which fishing nets can be made from.
Interesting to Note: Alfalfa has 28 minerals and was fed to the Roman Soldiers.
Be sure to check out my many other herb articles in Bukisa.
Read up and research about herbs.
Some herb plants cause allergic reactions in some people.
I am not a Doctor, nor do I make any medical or miracle claims.
Written by Princess Polly
Angelica is a native to northern Europe and grows wildly in America. It has spindle shaped roots, an erect stalk and greenish yellow flowers arranged in an umbel. The seeds are off-white and oblong in shape. This herb is also known as garden angelica, great angelica, Alexander’s, wild angelica and purple stem angelica. This herb is related to carrot and has sweet aroma. It can be also added to culinary dishes.
The stem of angelica is sweetened for consumption as tasty treats. The leaves and stems are also used to decorate cakes
The chopped leaves of angelica can be added to fish dishes, fruit salads and cottage cheese in small amounts.
Boil stems along with jams to improve the flavor. Before canning or freezing, remove the stems.
In ancient times, it was believed that these herb has not only medicinal properties, but also used for the treatment of digestive problems. Not only that it was also used to ward off bad spirits and neutralize the bits of mad dogs.,
During the end of World War I, people chewed the roots of the angelica with the belief that it would protect them from influenza epidemic.
Several parts of angelica herb are used, but of these the root seems to be the most often used in various herbal formulas.
This herb is also taken in the form of capsules or herbal tea.
When taken internally, it helps stimulates the appetite, thus alleviating loss of appetite.
It serves as an expectorant and helps to alleviates cough and cold.
It helps to cure stomach disorders and conditions and helps indigestion. It also gives relief from colic flatulence and wind, indigestion, intestinal spasms.
It cures fever by acting as a diaphoretic.
It helps to cure menstrual cramps and urinary tract infections.
Angelica posses anti-bacterial properties and is said to strengthen the heart.
Regular consumption of this root help one develop a distaste of alcoholic beverages’.
The compound found in angelica help prevent the growth of tumor cells in-vitro.
The dried roots are ground into powdered from and used for athlete’s foot.
The crushed leaves are applied as a poultice for chest and lung condition, for rheumatism, as a gargle for sore throat, as a poultice for swells, itching and broken bones.
Essential oils obtained from roots and seeds are used as food flavoring and in perfumes and to stimulate gastric secretion and skin disorders.
The fresh or dreied herb can be used in hot bath.
Diabetic patients must refrain from using this herb, as it intends to increase sugar levels in the urine.
Pregnant and lactating women should also keep away from this herb, as the safe use of this herb has not been confirmed.
Written by resham69
Herbalist demonstrates how to make your very own Lugol’s iodine.
Article by Dave Dockray
If you live in a flat or unit, with little space for an outdoor herb garden, an indoor herb garden may be just the answer. Or perhaps you would like to grow some of your favourite culinary herbs closer to the kitchen and out of the way of pests and inclement weather.
Can herbs thrive indoors? Certainly. Growing your culinary herbs in an indoor herb garden, in or near the kitchen, is easier than you may think, and provides some advantages over an outdoor herb garden. The same simple rules apply to an indoor herb garden as to growing herbs outdoors.
First it must be remembered that herbs are not indoor plants, and may not give their full fragrance without fresh air and some sunshine during the day. Herbs need sunlight to produce the essential oils that give them their flavour and fragrance.
So the first thing to consider is placement of your indoor herb garden. The sunniest spot, on a windowsill or in a sun room, facing south (in the northern hemisphere) or facing north (in the southern hemisphere) would be ideal, or a porch or balcony. But if your herb plants can’t get at least 5 hours sunlight you can supplement their light needs with a grow light.
To create your indoor herb garden you are going to need a trough or long narrow container, or individual pots that can be mounted on your windowsill. These pots need to be at least 6 inches (150 mm) deep to give the herbs room to stretch their roots, with the bottom of the pot filled with peat or vermiculite to provide good drainage.
Fill with a rich, clean light soil. Never let herbs in pots dry out, but make sure they don’t sit with wet feet either. They also should be fed occasionally with one of the brands of ‘plant pills’ which are available.
Terra cotta ‘strawberry jars’ with several apertures around the sides and top, making spaces for 5 different herbs, are an excellent idea, if there is room in your indoor herb garden area.
What herbs are best to choose? There are plenty of herbs that do well indoors. Most of your favourite culinary herbs, including parsley, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sweet marjoram, chives, chervil and mint will do well. Basil too will happily live indoors, providing it gets plenty of light. Buy your herbs as healthy young seedlings from a nursery.
Indoor herb garden kits are also available on the Web, and include not only free information, but also come with an assortment of the finest categories of herbs.
Take a moment to learn more about growing herbs indoors. There are many options available, and great deal of enjoyment to come. Get the kids involved as a project.
Dave Dockray is a herb enthusiast. For more great information on Indoor Herb Gardens or indoor herb garden kits visit: http://www.LindWind.com
Dave Dockray is a herb enthusiast.
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John from www.growingyourgreens.com goes on a field trip to South Korea to Sangsoo Herb Land to learn more about the many varieties of herbs that are grown there. In this episode you will learn how to grow a herb carpet and why spiders are beneficial for the garden, and more.
Video Rating: 5 / 5
This is another way I use my herbs , I make herb oil!!!