Vegetables and Fruit forum: Basil harvest time!

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Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Sep 8, 2011 12:46 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

This year I grew lemon, cinnamon, globe, and the standard variety.
I am in the middle of the main harvest. I still have a good two months left in the growing season, so I'll probably get another good flush, but not as big as this one.

What about you? Are you harvesting your herbs?

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NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Sep 8, 2011 4:35 PM CST
I am! Hurray! The butterfly cats devoured the dill and the flat leaf parsley but the latter is beginning to grow again.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Sep 8, 2011 4:37 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

The grasshoppers ate my parsley Crying I've reseeded, though!

Ahhh- I love harvest time, and this year, I'll take whatever I can get!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.

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Biyuwolf
Sep 8, 2011 6:52 PM CST
How can you tell it's time? Do you have any pictures? (I'm waiting on about 6-7 or more varieties)
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Sep 12, 2011 5:39 AM CST
it's time to pinch off a harvest from any stem that has more than 1 or 2 pairs of leaves... the stem will then branch out, and you'll have more leaves to harvest!

I've been pinching back my herbs and either using them fresh or freezing them (minced in food processor with olive oil, they freeze well in ice cube trays) all summer... last month, I stopped pinching half the plants so they'd have a chance to make seed before fall.

marinara sauce with fresh basil... yummy!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Sep 12, 2011 5:46 AM CST
I agree
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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threegardeners
Sep 12, 2011 6:39 AM CST
I've been waiting for a thread like this!

Anybody here dry their herbs? I have an awful time trying to dry them...I always end up with moldy herbs right about when I need to use them during the winter. I've tried the olive oil-freezer thing but found that I don't like the olive oil *Blush*
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Sep 12, 2011 6:46 AM CST
There will be a Part 2 to my article on herbs and it is about drying and preserving them. I think the articles are supposed to be a surprise but what can you do?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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threegardeners
Sep 12, 2011 6:49 AM CST
I was hoping there would be a part 2!! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Sep 12, 2011 6:55 AM CST
Thanks, Lee Anne I hope more interest in herbs will be the result. I believe it will be published at the end of this month. Big Grin
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Sep 12, 2011 9:31 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I hope more interest will result as well, Tee!

I dry my herbs, but it's pretty easy for me because outide is pretty much like an oven. I can hang in the garage, attic (that may work for you, Lee Anne), or outside even when there is no rain. I also use the dehydrator in a pinch.

This year, I harvested so much to sell at the market, then just kept pinching off flowers from about June till now. I'm harvesting huge basil plants now, and will get a smaller harvest again before frost. This isn't the ideal way for those basil aficionados who prefer only the tenderest of leaves, but the basil still has very good flavor, and (despite rumors), I can't co it all- so this worked out well.
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
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threegardeners
Sep 12, 2011 9:37 AM CST
That might be my problem, it's just way to cool and damp here all year long. I tried drying herbs in the oven one year and even in airtight containers everything eventually got moldy.

Mom bags hers and keeps them in the freezer to snip when she needs them. Just snips them off the plant right into baggies and straight into the freezer. I never seem to have enough room in my freezer...

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Biyuwolf
Sep 12, 2011 9:43 AM CST
I think I was asking about seeds?

I know basil can be harvested about any time after it's like 4" tall or so (providing there's many leaves) but harvesting for SEEDS seems trickier to me
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Sep 12, 2011 2:29 PM CST
For seeds, you just leave the bloom stalks alone... flowers will drop, seeds will mature, and the little green "pods" on the stalk will turn brown and crispy. Strip off the pods and rub them between your fingers, and you'll see round black basil seeds!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Sep 12, 2011 3:43 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I agree
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Sep 12, 2011 3:54 PM CST
I agree
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Sep 12, 2011 4:42 PM CST
I dry a lot of herbs in my garden shed, I have screens in the rafters.
A good place to dry herbs is in a closed up car in the sun , just lay herbs on some newspaper or paper plates .
You can do it in the trunk if you have room , out of sunlight is best.
Great air freshener too.
Paper plates on top of the refrigerator will work for small amounts.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Sep 13, 2011 4:47 AM CST
I hope you will post some of these ideas when the article runs so more people will see them. Lovey dubby
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Sep 13, 2011 8:06 AM CST
This year I have Sweet Genovese, an Italian basil from Genoa, Hot & Spicy (from Critter) and Holy Basil that just popped up from last year. I had a setback this year so not as much as usual but I know that the basil can take the heat since it's been so hot this year!!! LOL

I am drying much of the Holy basil this year to use in teas - it's said to be a great diuretic and sometimes added to "diet" tea blends.

The others I just put directly into zip lock baggies, flatten and put in the freezer. This way, they don't take up too much room in the freezer. Also make a pesto and put in the little muffin tins, then freeze and they pop out easily, store in ziplocks or those little plastic containers in the freezer.

But have to say I dropped the ball this year and it is already going to seed. Whistling
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Dahlianut
Calgary, AB Zone 3a
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dahlianut
Sep 13, 2011 4:08 PM CST
I'm almost finished harvesting and drying. Just parley and sage left to dry, and waiting to collect seed from the lovage. Looking forward to your Part 2 article Song Hurray!

threeg I had a hoot of a time drying herbs when I lived in the Toronto area due to the humidity. I found the best way was to oven dry them and then hang them where there was good air circulation. There was too much moisture to seal them in jars. The sage and rosemary I just froze in freezer bags. They lose some flavour and aroma but I just used more. Hope this helps Smiling

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