Use Fresh Herbs Grown From Your Own Home Herb Garden
Now that you have selected, planted, nurtured the chosen herbs delicately and observed them grow and flourish with satisfaction and pleasure, it is time to reap the rewards of your hard labour. Processing herbs for long duration up-keeping involves using vinegar, edible oils, drying or freezing the herbs. You can also make jelly, syrup and sweets. Another non culinary usage of herbs is in bath salts.
Did you ever imagine that growing a herb garden is easier than growing an elaborate fruit, flower or vegetable garden?
If you are not the type of person who can devote regular hours to your garden, this is for you, maintaining and planting a home herb garden is not an uphill task. Mundane it might seem, but the harvest over-rides the initial trouble and grilling of setting up the herb garden. The end product is better than what you get from grocery, fresh with aroma, delectable and tasty as ever.
First and foremost, you have to make an intelligent choice of the herbs that you plant and achieve success. You will be astonished that there is an enormous scope of available herbs and spices for culinary usage and home remedies. Basil, thyme, garlic, chamomile, dill, rosemary, and mint are good to start with your home herb garden.
Selecting an appropriate time to harvest herbs is critical. Sun, wind, rain can deprive the herbs from essential freshness, scent and oils. A calm and dry mid-summer morning is good to harvest the herbs that are fully grown. Note that harvesting does not mean removing the entire herb. Leave more than two third of the plant’s foliage to allow it to re-grow. Inspect the herb for any pests and damages, apply diligently available remedies for a sick herb preventing further damage. An effective solution for pests is to spray water, copper sulphate, horticultural oils, botanical sprays, insecticidal soap and diatomaceous earth. Often cutting off healthy plant and re-planting while destroying the rest can save herbs. Ladybugs and lacewings are excellent way of biological natural control. To prevent gophers devouring root, bulbs, use traps or pre-fabricated wire baskets from nurseries.
Use dry herbs for preparing wine, beverages and herbal tea. Cedar and white vinegars are very economical to make herbal vinegars at home. Bay leaf, rosemary, parsley, sage, and thyme give distinct flavours to the vinegar. Rosemary vinegar is used for hair rinse and hair wash as well as in cooking. Garlic vinegar is a good general antiseptic as well as excellent salad dressing and used for cold, cough. Put a good sized sprig of sage, oregano, terragon and chives in some white vinegar, wait for a couple of months and try it. You will love the fantastic flavour and the strong taste. Try making pickles, jams and syrups that act as tonic. Wide range of recipes are available, you can experiment and add some of your own.
For using fresh herbs straight out of the garden, use a sharp scissor or cutter. Use plenty of water to clean the herbs. Lukewarm and cold water are best to wash the mud. To drive away insects use two or three tablespoon salt in the water, increase or decrease as per the quantity of herbs. To dry the herbs for salad dressing, keep them for drying out by leaving them open and spread out or use a salad spinner.