Farming forum: When and how to harvest dill?

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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Jul 10, 2017 9:00 AM CST
I have a massive patch of mammoth dill that came back from seed. My question is how do I harvest the dill and keep it the freshest? I know that you can use the dill seed head before it dries up to put in dill pickles but what are some other ways to keep it stored.

Thank you for any help you can offer.

The dill is in the back ground.
Thumb of 2017-07-10/gardenglassgems/2c1ccf

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jul 11, 2017 10:32 AM CST
You can let the seeds mature and use them in pickles too. You could collect some of the leaves and dry them for dill weed. I like to put a sprig of dill in the bottom of the jar when I make sauerkraut, gives it a nice bit of additional flavor, and looks good in the jar. Smiling
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Jul 11, 2017 12:25 PM CST
Thanks Tom.
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Name: Philip
Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) (Zone 9b)
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pphanfx
Jul 11, 2017 1:41 PM CST
Nice - is that Mammoth Dill you've got going on back there?

Love that plant. Dill can taste great anytime, virtually at any stage - seedling, overly mature , dried outright, including seeds. Even if it's deteriorating, it can spice up a vegetable or seafood stew. Depends on how you want to get that flavor out. Stems also hold flavor. No question at all as to whether it would taste good in sauerkraut. Any savory dish, fish, white meats, creamy dishes/dips, appetizer or main course.

For red meats, I'd be looking more at Fennel, which I think is even more beautiful and less known.

With fresh dill, I usually bundle in a papertowel and stuff them in a plastic bag or plastic wrap to keep them together in the fridge. Keep dry.I can taste it now... Dill & rock salt in extra virgin olive oil for dipping with freshly baked bred? Dill & baked potato.. Dill & potato chips... Dill & cheese... Dill & lox on bagels... could go on.

Thats.... that's about it.
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[Last edited by pphanfx - Jul 11, 2017 1:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Jul 11, 2017 8:46 PM CST
Thank You! Philip. I am going to bag some up like you said and put it in the fridge. I am also going to dry some of it. I will let the small ones keep growing so I will have some when I have cucumbers to make pickles.
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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plantmanager
Jul 11, 2017 9:34 PM CST
Welcome! @pphanfx. Thank you for that great info on using dill! I've always loved it, but haven't grown any yet. It's now a must. Are you a chef?
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Name: Philip
Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) (Zone 9b)
Food & History
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pphanfx
Jul 12, 2017 8:38 AM CST
It's funny you ask that I'm a chef, but I don't consider myself to be a chef. Chefs actually like my food, as well as doctors - even little kids. I'm more of a researcher/student (one of the reasons I came here). I do have decades of practical home-style cooking training, and tons of trial and error (now 40). My Innate training early on is French and Vietnamese. Those languages I can also communicate in. I brushed up on middle-eastern/indian cooking in college, trained in those kitchens. I can read Arabic, so I can walk into those markets functionally for specific items in their culture. All of those cultures use dill in their own ways. Did you know fish & potato stew with dill is served in French military rations?? People love dill.

Quick and easy home-style presentation styles
Any overly mature/dry/deteriorating herbs or trimmings you have laying around have use. Here's a makeshift hearty vegetable stew utilizing any combination of vegetables you want to get rid of, topped of course with a Dill trimming. The other dishes are examples of how I use trimmings from the garden for basic home meals or gatherings. The last two pictures do not have dill, because I ate it all. I run out of Dill & Basil very quickly. You're seeing kale, mustard leaves, wild arugula, thyme, dill, green onion, and more. Flavors all mix together well.
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Dill & Fennel
If Dill is beautiful (left), then Fennel is glamorous (right). In a pinch, Fennel has virtually the applications as Dill but better in red meat dishes. Seeds, stems, everything have flavor.
Thumb of 2017-07-12/pphanfx/1f1dc1

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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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plantmanager
Jul 12, 2017 2:00 PM CST
You have me drooling, Phillip, and I wish I lived near you! We are fans of so many ethnic foods and I love trying to reproduce the ones we like. Your photos are beautiful, and I know everyone must love your cooking!

I will add dill and fennel to my garden. I also use a lot of cilantro. I can't keep enough of it around since it bolts so easily. I did let one go to seed so I should have new plants soon.
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Aug 7, 2017 10:22 AM CST
Just reading through this thread and enjoying it immensely!

Jeanne, my Minnesota brother had a volunteer patch similar to yours this summer. It must be a good year for it.

Thank you for this ideaTom! I love dill and will add it to my next batch of fermented sauerkraut. I usually use Caraway.

Karen, I love Cilantro also but plant it in fall and keep it overwinter. This summer I tried Papalo which is reputed to be a warm weather substitute. I still haven't warmed up to it.

Philip ~ I agree with Karen! I am drooling over those photos and descriptions of food. They all sound wonderful. I would love to break bread at your table.

I am one of those people that thinks all plants are on this earth for reasons. I believe the reason dill does well with most foods is that it helps with digestion. It also fights some bacterial infections. On occasion, I crave a good hot dill tea infusion. I also will make dill bread once in a while. Now I'm hungry! Whistling

Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Aug 7, 2017 10:53 AM CST
I love dill, and will have to grow some. I'd love a recipe for the fish and potato stew with dill, if you have one, Philip. I could probably make my own and it would be good, but if you have a recipe, I'd love to have yours.
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Name: Philip
Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) (Zone 9b)
Food & History
Region: California Spiders! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Aquaponics Composter
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pphanfx
Aug 7, 2017 12:58 PM CST
plantmanager said:I love dill, and will have to grow some. I'd love a recipe for the fish and potato stew with dill, if you have one, Philip. I could probably make my own and it would be good, but if you have a recipe, I'd love to have yours.

No problem, Karen - This was very popular with French soldiers and sailors because it could be made right on a ship utilizing a variety of fish being added into a simplistic potato stew. Even English armies would feature a French Cook.

French Fish & Potato Stew
    Cod
    Potatoes
    Garlic paste with thyme and fennel, lemon, salt, pepper
    Chicken broth
    Make the paste first, then add to slow-boiling chicken broth, and stir in potatoes and fish.
    Buttered Toast/Baguette can be used to sop up juices
You will not go wrong with the above - salt & pepper is to taste and texture of potatoes depends on how long you want to stew them.

Immediate Improvements
Similar to a French cook, I'm highly improvisational, based on what the family has in the kitchen and what flavors I know balance out well. Let's start with the broth... Canned chicken broth is the crappiest possible chicken broth. Two alternatives would improve the above immediately.
    Real Chicken or Turkey Broth instead of canned.. If you happened to have some chicken parts/carcasses, skin, this is always going to be better. Almost as though you were making homemade traditional chicken soup. Use broth from this to dramatically improve the above.
    Seafood/fish-based broth.. To be truer to history, we're using any spare seafood/fish parts, skin, heads. Utilizing more Vietnamese & some Italian influences, we'll add Tomato and Dill to make it just a tad tartier. Include all fish parts to extract maximum flavor, nutrition, and calcium. Process and pick out the bones, skin, excess tomato skin & seeds as preferred before serving.
Garnish with fresh lemon juice, chopped parsley, green onions, black pepper, and fresh dill (coarse or finely chopped). In both cases, be sure to use sufficient garlic as it will pair with seafood well. Onions & scallions do not hurt terribly, other than adding sweetness, and are a passable alternative in the absence of garlic.

Chaudre or Cream
If you find that you have a particularly salty & fishy broth or very fishy-fish/seafood parts, we can fix this by "Chowderizing" it or creaming it. Both will work with dill.

In a separate pot, just heat butter, milk, flour to form a thick roux. NOW we're going to add it into our stew, and it will essentially be a Fish & Potato stew turned into a chowder. If you do not want to do a roux you can cheat and do cream. I've tried both in heavy seafood based-sauces, and it's delicious... NOT healthy, but... yeah delicious.

@pod Thanks for the encouragement, I can see an enthusiastic dill fan right away. Indeed, cures for cancers and diseases are found in nature.. The cure for Malaria, for example, is found in a tree bark/root. I definitely believe plants serve some purpose for other life forms (either to promote or deter certain organisms) and that nature has its own balance that mankind cannot match.... and yet, we are destroying it all, overbreeding, greed, waste, pollution, etc etc... :(

@plantmanager And also, if you simply look up Vietnamese Fish and Dill on Google under images, you'll see the degree of applicability of dill to fish.. It's used in solid dishes, as well as stews and soups. it works perfectly fine with the basic French Fish & Potato form. The Vietnamese version is highly complex. many vietnamese styles pair well with French cuisine, due to both cultures featuring strong flavors and fresh herbs used to balance out the flavors.
Water your plants!
[Last edited by pphanfx - Aug 7, 2017 1:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Aug 7, 2017 1:49 PM CST
Thanks so much! Yum!
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Cat Lover Dog Lover Vermiculture Birds Bulbs
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pod
Aug 7, 2017 4:32 PM CST
Yum is right! I bookmarked this post and hope to feast in the near future. Hurray!
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
Image
plantmanager
Aug 7, 2017 6:01 PM CST
Me too, but I'll wait for cold weather. It's the only time I make soups and stews and other filling types of comfort foods.
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Aug 8, 2017 7:14 AM CST
Kristi, when I make sauerkraut I make some with caraway seeds too, I like it both ways. I haven't grown cabbage in a while, so it's been a while since I've had my own Kraut, Maybe I need to change that next year. Smiling
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Philip
Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) (Zone 9b)
Food & History
Region: California Spiders! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Aquaponics Composter
Foliage Fan Herbs Ponds Birds Container Gardener Solar Power
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pphanfx
Aug 10, 2017 5:02 PM CST
tveguy3 said:Kristi, when I make sauerkraut I make some with caraway seeds too, I like it both ways. I haven't grown cabbage in a while, so it's been a while since I've had my own Kraut, Maybe I need to change that next year. Smiling

@tveguy3 What do you think of possible beet & dill sauerkraut? Never tried, it, but guaranteed it's going to work.
Also, what about others of the Cabbage family -- the kales, brussel sprout greens. I've got all of these growing and tempted to try...
Water your plants!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Aug 10, 2017 7:37 PM CST
They all sound interesting. You will have to try them and see what happens and report back to us. I like to make pickled beets. I also pickle green beans and peaches when I have a lot of them.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Sep 4, 2017 11:20 AM CST
plantmanager said:I love dill, and will have to grow some. I'd love a recipe for the fish and potato stew with dill, if you have one, Philip. I could probably make my own and it would be good, but if you have a recipe, I'd love to have yours.

I seeded some ten years ago and sadly have used very, very, very little .
I still have some green, although drying stuff works to a lessor degree and if I get a hair up my buttocks, may buy some cucumbers at the farmers market and can a few jars.
My mom and grandparents used to use it heavily in the pickle jars, not the tiny few sprigs most seem to use nowadays.

It comes up to the point of being a weed in parts of he garden but I let it get fairly large before I pull it as I like it.
I let it go to seed and sometimes grab the ripe plants and shake them over different parts of the garden, although it seeds itself well anyway plus when I roto-till and rake the soil level that spreads it more.

Oddly this year, even though I get enough for many dozens of pickle jars each year if I used it, I bought a pack of fresh seeds and spread those out in a not planted area of the garden.
A few came up but not much.

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