Flavorful Herb Harvest Takes Scissors

It’s time to snip off our favorite herbs as they’re most flavorful just before they bloom.

In our garden we have the following herbs this year:

  • Greek Oregano
  • Hot and Spicy Oregano
  • French Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Cocoa Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Stevia
  • Curly Parsley
  • Dill

The first of these to bloom is thyme. A large thyme plant planted next to the house got an early start compared to two other plants out in the garden some distance from the south-facing side of the house. The plant next to the house is starting to bloom, so the thyme that I harvested today was from the two plants in the garden.

The thyme that was growing into the area where the cucumbers will be trellised was harvested by simply pulling up a handful of runners at the outer most edge and snipping them off with scissors. Any rootlets or brown spots were trimmed away and left to fall on the ground.

The handful of herb was shook a few times against a hand or leg to dislodge any potential insects and then placed in a brown paper bag that was labeled with the name of the herb.

A couple of tiny black beetles were dispensed quickly, but other than that the only “bug” I saw was a light green caterpillar on a dill leaf.

About this being the tastiest time to snip some herbs for the kitchen, well I really don’t know. I mean, I haven’t done any taste tests to show that you really should collect herbal leaves before the plant blooms, but it must be one of those bits of knowledge that gets handed down from one generation to the next as a truism.

Oregano, dill and thyme harvested from the garden 23 June 2014.
Oregano, dill and thyme harvested from the garden 23 June 2014.

The two oreganos, dill and thyme met my scissors today. The herbs were brought inside and laid out on brown paper bags or newspaper.

From here the groups of herbs will be kept on their separate papers and turned often.