[Market-farming] A couple of questions for more experienced farmers

OakCamp2 at aol.com OakCamp2 at aol.com
Thu May 22 18:34:30 EDT 2003


Hi Allan,

Herbs have the best flavor when they are in full bloom.  Harvest about 1/3 of 
the plant (not including the flowers in this measurement).  They can be dried 
in bunches with the flowers intact and used as either culinary bundles or put 
into wreaths.  Sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lavender, horehound, lemon 
balm, even some basils can be dried and add wonderful color and smell to a 
wreath.  Dry them in an airy, dark area.  If they are to be used for culinary 
purposes, keep them dust free by placing paper bags over the bundles.  The trick is 
to get them to dry as fast as possible while keeping their exposure to direct 
light a minimum.  Light will fade the flowers and leaves to an unattractive 
brown.  Let them come into full flower again before harvesting the top third 
again.  Watch your timing on the second harvest. If it is too close to the first 
frost, it may kill your plants, because they won't recover enough energy to 
make it through the winter.  
The fresh flowers are also delicious in salads or garnish alongside meats and 
vegetables.  

HTH

Barb Birkinbine
Oak Camp Herb Farm
Lodi, WI
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