Herb Garden – Harvesting Your Herbs

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,132
    Avid home gardener Amy Stuart demonstrates how to harvest herbs from your container garden.

    Amy Stuart

    Amy Stuart is a Warrenton, VA, resident, an avid home gardener, and a 2007 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She works with clients to build sustainable diets through individualized lifestyle choices teaching cooking classes, giving workshops and providing one-on-one health counseling.

    Amy Stewart: Hi! I am Amy Stewart with Project Wellness. Today, we are going to talk about what to do once your garden has started to thrive, when do you use this stuff?

    Well, my garden was just planted; however, these are fairly well-established plants. So, I can give you a few tips on when you can start sort of pulling your harvest. I will tell you that this basil can grow to probably the size of this pot, so this can get huge. The rosemary, the oregano is going to trail down the side, the parsley is going to multiply as well. Everything is going to start growing together and youre going to have this beautiful verdant green fragrant garden, and once that happens you are going to of course want to be using it because as you are caring for this thing on a daily basis with water and everything like that, you want to start using.

    So, you probably recognize these herbs looking very similar to the one that you find in the grocery store except, of course, youre growing them so they are much better.

    In our case, you can certainly start, if you feel like you always going to start small, if your plants are small, you are not going to kill them by pulling leaves off, and then in the case of rosemary, you may just want to take two or three leaves off and these could be in a marinade or whatever and you can chop them up really fine.

    Now, once these things starts going, you can start cutting off entire stalks and those are basically called like rosemary skewers, sometimes youll find them in the stores.

    Basil is an interesting one. These will actually start to flower, and I like to keep my basil growing. So, Ill pinch the flowers off as they grow and we dont eat those, but once they really start to multiply you can start to pull basically hold chunks of basil off just by simply pinching them and youll just have massive amounts of basil to make the pesto and whatever, and I take my harvest and I whirl it up in the food processor or put them into ice cube trays, and I have what I call pesto cubes. So, now you have a recipe.

    Same thing with oregano, you might be able to pull off the leaves and use them on salad dressings, recipes whatever, and if you dont have quite enough yet, you can mix dried herbs that you may already have in your cupboard with herbs that are grown fresh, and theyll all taste that much better.

    In the case of parsley, I definitely would love to, sort of get to multiplying a little bit more. I can use this much parsley in a salad for myself because I love it and its loaded with nutrients. So, I would definitely let the stuff take off a little bit, but that is how you start to harvest your herb garden.