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Harvest Monday – May 9, 2011

May 9, 2011

After a week for salads and a week for teas, this was a week for storing stuff for the winter.

I actually picked the strawberry, raspberry and blackberry leaves for berry-leaf herbal tea (of course, none of them are actually berries in the botanical sense…) a couple of weeks ago, but this week I declared them dry enough and poked around the cupboards for a jar to store them in:

I think I need to re-organize my shelves – the herbal teas are going to take up a lot more space than I anticipated when I moved in.

Since the thyme was also starting to flower, I went and cut it back – I seem to remember that just before they start blooming is the time to cut herbs for drying. I can’t really stick to the advice about the perfect cutting time that was given in my much-loved first gardening book, though, which is to cut herbs on a sunny morning after the dew has dried – at that time of day, I’m always at work, or (on Sunday) asleep.

No picture of the drying thyme – it doesn’t really look that exciting. It makes me miss our old attic, though… one of my first memories is of the attic in the tiny house I spent my first three or so years in, with herbs hanging from nails in the rafters. So when my parents bought a house after over a decade of attic-less living, I grabbed a hammer and a handful of nails and created my own herb-drying place. So much better than an empty shelf in a kitchen cupboard…

Anyway. The parsley was also getting out of hand, so I gave it a serious ‘haircut’…

… chopped it up and shoved it into the freezer:

What else? Fresh tea herbs for at least one huge mug a day – including my very first pineapple sage, yum – lettuce and other greens for two more salads, which equals about half a head of lettuce (I rarely bother with weighing my harvest, but I know a store-bought head of lettuce lasts me for three to four salads), lots of chives, a few more radishes:

I’m still a little too impatient, harvesting some of them when they’re hardly bigger than a pea, but they’re oh-so-yummy! How can I wait? Also, some of them are beginning to bolt, so I’d rather eat them while I still can. Those plants that didn’t make a radish at all, well, they can go ahead and flower, and I’ll see what the seed pods taste like.

Thanks to Daphne for organizing Harvest Monday!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2011 23:06

    I’ve grown berries for a long time but had no clue you could make tea out of their leaves. Hmm when my new plants grow up I’ll have to try it.

  2. May 10, 2011 01:27

    I would also like to hear more about this berry leaf tea. Sounds lovely. I’ve had red raspberry leaf tea but not thought of strawberry leaf. Nice.

    • May 10, 2011 07:06

      It’s simply (young) strawberry, raspberry and blackberry leaves in about equal parts – I have no idea if mine are anywhere near equal, though, I think I have a lot more raspberry than anything else (they were easier to find).

  3. May 10, 2011 21:31

    Well the leaves are the parts not bothered by pests in my neck of the woods so I suppose that does make sense. LOL. No attics that you could dry herbs with ’round here. I remember my Nanny drying some by hanging them next to her kitchen window. 🙂 smelled so good when the sun would shine through.

    • May 10, 2011 22:34

      I bet it did! Though I also seem to remember you’re supposed to dry them in a dark place. I’m thinking I might hang some to dry in my closet – maybe it’ll keep the moths out.

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