The Potager

The Potager

Friday, June 22, 2012

Foodie Friday - Harvesting Oregano: A Lesson Learned

I noticed this week that the Oregano was about to bloom.
Oregano is one of those herbs that taste better in recipes after it is dried. I do use it fresh, but you have to use a lot of it to get that oregano flavor we are all used to.
I read on the internet that the best time to pick oregano for drying is just before it blooms. So I went out into my garden and chopped down all my oregano.
Literally. I had read that if you chop it down it will grow back bushier. My oregano was two feet tall and rather unattractive. So I am going for bushier.
There was a little volunteer plant that I left in case the bigger one does not recover. Which I doubt.
I have learned that oregano is hard to control. A lot like mint. I think they are related. In any case, all that chopping led to a big basketful of fresh oregano.
It's about this point that I begin thinking, "What was I thinking?"
My internet source says to tie 4 -6 sprigs together and hang upside down in a brown paper bag with holes punched in it. It said label the bags. Which I did. (Because I have so many bags of herbs hanging that I may forget what they are?) You will notice that I have two bags. In my neck of the woods everything is sold in plastic bags. These paper bags came all the way from Medford, NJ, with my son on Father's Day.
So, if I bundle 6 sprigs together  and hang them in my two bags, that will take care of twelve, leaving... a whole bunch of oregano still to do something with.
I cheated and tied eight sprigs together. I'm so daring...not! Then I made two more bundles in the hope that I come across two more brown paper bags in the next few days. You never know. 
I also put a bunch in water to use fresh in the kitchen. Leaving.....a whole bunch of oregano still to do something with.
It's at this point , and after finding a few of the above, that I realize, it's June. I will have more oregano. 
This isn't a last chance to dry the oregano, it's the first of several. And so the rest of the oregano went into the compost pile. Wasteful, perhaps. But realistic. 
Lesson learned. Don't harvest more than you can process.

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