When do I pick herbs for best quality and aroma?

Field grown, fresh harvested
Field grown, fresh harvested

Herbs are best picked when nearly dry, after the morning sun has had time to mop up the dew! Nip soft herbs with clean fingers and use sharp shears or pruners to clean-cut woody herbs. For culinary herbs, a quick, clean water rinse and spin in the lettuce spinner will remove most outdoor contaminants. Many fresh cut herbs will keep for a day or two at room temperature in water, in a glass container on the counter. I often initially add an ice cube or two to the water container!

Generally, herbs “breath” better if not completely covered when they are refrigerated. Lightly wrap your herb bundle or herb pieces in a paper towel and place loosely in a bag without completely closing the herbs off from air circulation. Darkening and softening are signs of moisture and microbially-induced decay.

Remarkably, herbs have high antioxidant stability, particularly when used fresh. Adding herbs to cooking near the end of the process means you are adding valuable nutrients and phytochemicals that will retain chemical potency and activity!

Stayed tuned. Next week — some tips on specific herb drying!
Thanks for stopping by……….

Herbs that compound their fragrance with age…

Sweet Everlasting Sachet
Sweet Everlasting Sachet

Dozens of the “hard” floral herbs are more fragrant with aging. Fragrance evolves and matures in the first six months after drying before generally declining in the herb’s second year as herbal dried matter. We know this to be true of most Lavenders and Lavender essential oils. It is also true of Sweet Everlasting, our featured scent herb this week.

From the herb room, we can smell the scent all the way through the old house. We are making sachets and enhancing them aesthetically for you, though the sweet balsam scent, alone, would carry the sachets. Yep, we just have to have a little fun with design!

In our fresh markets and in our classes, lots of questions are asked about the “shelflife” of culinary and medicinal herbs. While there are variable “durabilities” among herbs, some harvest and storage practices are worth knowing! Next week, we’ll offer you valuable and simple herb-keeping ideas………have a great week!

Making Herbs a Part of The Everyday…

W+M Wedding 403W+M Wedding 402Welcome to White Hills Farm where we grow, harvest and offer for sale our own Southern Grown Lavendula products and other delightful herbals!  We are a part of the Augusta Locally Grown cooperative network of farms and farmers. Given to companion planting, fostering terroir-based growing and launching interesting, everychanging products for the end user, we like being unique!

A wistful, gorgeous wedding setting, we host only six weddings per year, in the months April through September. White Hills Farm is a special place with special things to offer and we want to share them with YOU!

Photography credit to our lovely friend Ashah Wood, Ashah Photography.

To contact us:
White Hills Farm
1419 Fort Creek Road
Dearing, Georgia
whitehillsfarm@gmail.com
Ben and Lisa Kessler, Owners

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