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(About.com)   Fark Food Thread: Dried herbs and spices are convenient, but fresh ones are preferred.. right? Do you go through herbs quickly enough to always keep fresh ones on hand? Other ways to make fresh herbs last? Grow your own?   (cookingfortwo.about.com) divider line 154
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1866 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2014 at 5:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



154 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-09 03:38:20 PM  
ALWAYS have fresh basil.  The rest I can deal with dried.  If I'm planning a meal in advance I'll buy all fresh.
 
2014-01-09 03:38:20 PM  
THey are so easy to grow, I just keep little pots of fresh ones in the kitchen. I also use dried, though, depending on how mild or intense I want that flavor to be
 
2014-01-09 03:38:38 PM  
I used to smoke it before it dried all the way out, but I quit that stuff a number of years ago.
 
2014-01-09 03:39:00 PM  
FYI, most herbs grow crazy fast. I'd be surprised if you could use all of, say, basil before more grew.
 
2014-01-09 03:39:09 PM  
I mostly used dried.
 
2014-01-09 03:39:17 PM  
I always have parsley. It keeps for a long time in the fridge. Cilantro and basil I'd like to have but I can't keep them from rotting so fast.
 
2014-01-09 03:41:08 PM  

sboyle1020: ALWAYS have fresh basil.


This!

Fresh basil in the summertime is a glorious thing.

We also grow our own chives, but I live in Canada, so growing sh*t is hard.
 
2014-01-09 03:42:43 PM  
Besides buying fresh or having dried, I have some in tubes (ginger) or in frozen little cubes (cilantro).

Keeps me from wasting so much or having to run to the store at the last minute.
 
2014-01-09 03:43:04 PM  
What is the rule of thumb: woody stems (rosemary, oregano, thyme) you dry; soft stems (basil, parsley, chives) you freeze.

I think that's it.
 
2014-01-09 03:43:07 PM  
I grow my own cilantro, basil, parsley, and thyme. Oh, and mint.

Fresh herbs are super easy to grow, and taste exponentially better IMO.
 
2014-01-09 03:43:33 PM  
Fresh herbs in the growing season, dried herbs from the garden during the winter
 
2014-01-09 03:44:52 PM  
We use both.  The wintertime is tricky because I don't have a whole lot of appropriate places inside where they'll grow.  In the summer, though, oh baby.  My husband built me a tiered herb garden for the back deck.  This is at the beginning of last spring... by the middle of summer, this thing had exploded.  I was cutting things back to dry and preserve and freeze and I couldn't even keep up.

scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2014-01-09 03:45:12 PM  
My wife grows basil, sage, rosemary, and mint.  We buy fresh cilantro all the time, and mostly used dried for everything else.
 
2014-01-09 03:45:28 PM  

Gonz: I grow my own cilantro, basil, parsley, and thyme. Oh, and mint.

Fresh herbs are super easy to grow, and taste exponentially better IMO.


I'd love to but my apartment doesn't get direct sunlight.
 
2014-01-09 03:53:01 PM  
Grow my own every year.  Usually basil (multiple kinds for maximum pesto), rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, and a few others.  I've not had much luck with coriander or marjoram but the parsley I grew this year was massive.  Rosemary is my favorite and I like finding new uses for whole stalks of it.  They're great as kebab skewers or for threading around pieces of meat before putting them in the oven.
 
2014-01-09 03:55:24 PM  

fat aristotle: Gonz: I grow my own cilantro, basil, parsley, and thyme. Oh, and mint.

Fresh herbs are super easy to grow, and taste exponentially better IMO.

I'd love to but my apartment doesn't get direct sunlight.


Mine doesn't either, so I got one of these. Works great.
 
2014-01-09 03:56:13 PM  
Grow your own, net work with others on FB who do that.
Find one person or 45 to trade with.
You may have a lot of garlic, they may have a lot of oregano, etc.
 
2014-01-09 03:57:18 PM  

naughtyrev: fat aristotle: Gonz: I grow my own cilantro, basil, parsley, and thyme. Oh, and mint.

Fresh herbs are super easy to grow, and taste exponentially better IMO.

I'd love to but my apartment doesn't get direct sunlight.

Mine doesn't either, so I got one of these. Works great.


I've read about those but didn't know anyone who has actually tried it. I'll have to consider that.
 
2014-01-09 04:00:12 PM  
Basil is ridiculously easy to grow, both indoors and out.  I always have that.  I like a to keep little mozz balls and cherry tomatoes in the house so I can have a quick caprese bite anytime I feel like it.
 
2014-01-09 04:02:58 PM  
Herbs, sure, fresh, etc. But when would you not use dried spices? I guess if you think of ginger as a spice or chilies?

But stuff like

cumin
cardamon
coriander seeds
pepper
cinnamon
nutmeg
mace
cayenne
asafoetida
saffron
star anise

.....
 
2014-01-09 04:04:16 PM  

fat aristotle: naughtyrev: fat aristotle: Gonz: I grow my own cilantro, basil, parsley, and thyme. Oh, and mint.

Fresh herbs are super easy to grow, and taste exponentially better IMO.

I'd love to but my apartment doesn't get direct sunlight.

Mine doesn't either, so I got one of these. Works great.

I've read about those but didn't know anyone who has actually tried it. I'll have to consider that.


Here's mine with about 3 weeks of growth on it:
i.imgur.com

The basil runs riot, so you have to keep it constantly plucked.
 
2014-01-09 04:06:28 PM  

naughtyrev: fat aristotle: naughtyrev: fat aristotle: Gonz: I grow my own cilantro, basil, parsley, and thyme. Oh, and mint.

Fresh herbs are super easy to grow, and taste exponentially better IMO.

I'd love to but my apartment doesn't get direct sunlight.

Mine doesn't either, so I got one of these. Works great.

I've read about those but didn't know anyone who has actually tried it. I'll have to consider that.

Here's mine with about 3 weeks of growth on it:


The basil runs riot, so you have to keep it constantly plucked.


Very interesting. I'll have to keep that thing in mind.
 
2014-01-09 04:24:10 PM  

fat aristotle: I'd love to but my apartment doesn't get direct sunlight.


You can get a full-spectrum light from a pet store or a store that sells lights, and your plants will grow like crazy.

My friend did that because he had to go to work at 5 a.m. during the winter.  His plants started growing like plants in the rainforest.

I think it cost like $15.  He bought a cheap light fixture from Home Depot and just laid it on the floor.  You can spend more, but he went for the cheapest.
 
2014-01-09 05:01:36 PM  
Basil is the easiest thing to grow.  It gets real sad looking and screams at you to water it days before it will actually croak.
 
2014-01-09 05:05:46 PM  
grow your own  and then you can make herb pastes and freeze them...have them on hand all year long


snip the herb, throw into a food processor with a little olive oil and puree it up.  scrape it into a zip lock AND LABEL IT---herbs tend to look all the same when you do this---then put it in the freezer.  fresh herbs all the time.
 
2014-01-09 05:06:27 PM  
Grow my own.  Dry them in the fall.  Sometimes you want fresh, sometimes you want dry (herbes de provence)

I made a 3' x 1' bed on wheels that I can plant everything in, then wheel to wherever has the right sun on the deck.

This year I duplicated my Grandmother's herb salt recipe
Sea salt combined w/ thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, parsley, dill.  Great all-purpose seasoning, especially good w/ broiled whole fish.
 
2014-01-09 05:06:53 PM  
I grow a bunch of different herbs in the long box on the porch in the summer and we just got a dehydrator for christmas so I'm going to attempt to dry them next fall. I love fresh in the house but I can't seem to keep them alive inside.
 
2014-01-09 05:08:02 PM  

Gonz: I grow my own cilantro


:^/
 
2014-01-09 05:09:06 PM  
I have an herb garden, but growing anything in the Texas heat is an asswhip. Gotta hand-water the pots constantly, and that's just to keep the things alive (not thriving.) Yes, I've tried the moisture-retaining soils and the heat-tolerant herbs, but that limits what you can grow. i get some woody basil and a ton of spearmint, but everything else is hit or miss. I choose to avoid the scrutiny that comes with indoor grow lights.
 
2014-01-09 05:09:14 PM  
I have half a dozen aero gardens, picked up for $10 each from a bankruptcy sale. Great for fresh herbs throughout the year. It is also very easy and cheap to build your own version with styrofoam coolers, thrift store aquarium pumps, air stones, and some cheap items from your local hydroponics store. I keep four large units outside in growing season.
 
2014-01-09 05:10:26 PM  

canavar: grow your own  and then you can make herb pastes and freeze them...have them on hand all year long


snip the herb, throw into a food processor with a little olive oil and puree it up.  scrape it into a zip lock AND LABEL IT---herbs tend to look all the same when you do this---then put it in the freezer.  fresh herbs all the time.


excellent idea...I never remember to do this
 
2014-01-09 05:10:53 PM  
If I want extra flavor I just slap the steak with my balls.
 
2014-01-09 05:13:08 PM  
I have a small bay tree.. well.. "tree".. it's only about 2 ft tall.  I bring it inside in the winter.

I've tried growing rosemary in a pot, but it keeps dying.

I also have 2 kinds of mint.
 
2014-01-09 05:15:48 PM  
Whatever. Fresh is nice, but many dried spices can be found way cheaper than buying McCormick's overpriced stuff if you look in Asian and Hispanic stores.
 
2014-01-09 05:18:27 PM  
I, too, have a whole bunch of fresh ones in pots. They all grow like weeds in the summer months, out on the deck. But they're kind of a pain to keep alive over the winter (don't even try with basil).

I hadn't thought of using a grow light. Suppose I should.

Anyway, fresh herbs are the tits. They make an immense difference in my daube de boeuf provencal and my lemon-oregano chicken.

/also, fresh-cracked pepper
//and real garlic
 
2014-01-09 05:18:37 PM  
Rosemary bushes around the house.  We usually have 3 or 4 large basil plants on hand but were down to one right now in the greenhouse.  Sage plant died so need a new one.  Got a lot of mint that we never seem to use.  Wish we had thyme and a tree for bay leaves.
 
2014-01-09 05:19:07 PM  
When we had more space I grew more herbs. Now I just grow saffron.
 
2014-01-09 05:19:10 PM  

Honest Bender: FYI, most herbs grow crazy fast. I'd be surprised if you could use all of, say, basil before more grew.


Indeed.  We grow our own basil.  By the end of fall, its a friggin' hedge.

Of course, we can just make a ton of pesto and freeze it.
 
2014-01-09 05:20:33 PM  
i get cilantro and dill fresh every time i go to the store.   i get basil and rosemary fresh when I plan on using it.

otherwise, I use dry oregano, bay leaves, and thyme.

/ other herbs I would buy fresh for the thing I plan on making.
// i have tried to grown my own, but it always dies or tastes weird after a while.  my basil plant was unstoppable, and I regularly harvested it, but after a few months it tasted bitter.  after a year and trying all sorts of internet advice to get the flavor back, it died, and i said, good riddance, maud.  (i named it maud, i always give my plants monosyllabic names.  easier than saying "the basil plant".  however, i never use the plant's name in public, it is merely an internal reference, to save space in the old brainy-brain, who I call herb, but his real name is bob, with two "o"s)
 
2014-01-09 05:20:48 PM  
I use both depending on what the dish is as they definitely both have their uses.

Anyways, if you really like fresh herbs and have the room go get a T5 fixture from your local hydro store or the interwebs. They're pretty inexpensive, and very low cost to run. I have a recessed area underneath some glass-fronted cabinets in my kitchen that's a 4 bulb/4ft long model where there's one hung at. Total dimensions are like 52"x13"x3 inches. Put some plants underneath it and BOOM! In home fresh kitchen herb garden year round.

Mine isn't used for that right now though. That was my original intention but I ended up putting some random succulents underneath there for the time being.. Herbs are gonna go in soon though. Entertaining the thought of getting some very small plastic container to just put a little hydroponic RDWC system right there. Quick, easy to maintain, VERY little waste and no to pricey to put in.
 
2014-01-09 05:22:06 PM  

tricycleracer: Basil is the easiest thing to grow.  It gets real sad looking and screams at you to water it days before it will actually croak.


Here in Southern California, cilantro and mint are the easiest things to grow. You can't get rid of mint and cilantro will sprout despite your best efforts.

Also in the garden:
sage
vast swaths of rosemary
chives/onions
marjoram
thyme
basil
rue
lemongrass
Also use lime tree leaves in an herb-like manner.
 
2014-01-09 05:24:17 PM  
Not so fast, Freshy Fresh Subby.

Dried parsley has its place. So does granulated onion. The fresh items of these two are too overpowering (I guess it can be blamed on oils and other liquids in them) for lots of recipes. Additionally, I think dried parsley tastes completely different than fresh parsley. No high notes like fresh, just a nice earthy layer underneath every other taste.

/I am worried about the amount of dried parsley and granulated onions I use and how often I use them.
/don't get me started on bay leaf
 
2014-01-09 05:25:41 PM  
Grow my own -- pretty simple, saves a lot of money, have more flavor, and more tender.

And some people have noted, woody stemmed herbs have to be dried, but you still save a lot doing it yourself.
 
2014-01-09 05:27:22 PM  
I like growing basil, mint, parsley, and rosemary in the summer, so I always have that fresh then, but use dried herbs otherwise. I try to use what the recipe calls for, but if I don't think I'll use a whole package of fresh herbs, I'll cheat to save money.

This year I harvested my basil and made some basil/olive oil ice cubes to add to my cooking out of season. I also have some rosemary in the freezer.
 
2014-01-09 05:27:40 PM  
♪ Are you going to Scarborough Fair? ♪
 
2014-01-09 05:29:16 PM  
Some herbs are flavorless dried -- like cilantro. And some change dramatically in flavor -- fresh thyme is a completely different flavor than dried.
 
2014-01-09 05:30:06 PM  
And I use the fresh honey from the bees I have trained to pollinate my herbs in seed catalog order.  If you aren't harvesting and flash drying your own coriander seeds you may as well get a bag of topsoil from The Home Depot and a fork and dig in.
 
2014-01-09 05:30:21 PM  
Fresh when it makes sense to use fresh.  I chop up a mixture of fresh herbs as an appetizer.

In a processor, chop handfuls of basil, thyme and rosemary.  Add some garlic and dried red chili.
Add to good olive oil
Dip good bread
enjoy.

I hated buying herbs at  insane costs at the market.

I just bought some seeds online and I hope to get a good indoor herb garden going until summer.  I don't know what I'm doing but I look forward to learning.
Any Farkers grow indoors?  And no, not that kind of herb..
 
2014-01-09 05:30:30 PM  
Usually fresh is best, but there are times when you need the dried version. Like right now, actually -- I'm making the spicy black bean soup recipe from Fields of Greens, and it calls for toasted dried oregano.

When I lived in California, I turned my entire balcony into an herb garden. I had rosemary, greek and italian oregano, french, english, and lemon thyme, marjoram, sage, and basil; I found I used too much parsley and cilantro to keep a plant alive so I just bought those at the grocery. I also grew thai chiles and hungarian hot wax peppers, the former for curries and the latter to make fresh hot paprika.

I never buy spices pre-ground, either -- they lose their flavor so much more quickly that way. I stock up on whole spices at Indian and Mexican markets, store them in sealed glass jars, and grind what I need fresh.

/Suck it, carnivores -- I like a big bloody rare steak as much as the next person, but Fields of Greens is one of the five best cookbooks I've ever used.
 
2014-01-09 05:30:42 PM  

dryknife: Whatever. Fresh is nice, but many dried spices can be found way cheaper than buying McCormick's overpriced stuff if you look in Asian and Hispanic stores.


Cost Plus World Market is the cheapest place for bagged spices that I've seen. Can't vouch for their quality on a snobbery scale, but they work good for me.
 
2014-01-09 05:31:44 PM  
I always freeze enough basil pesto to make it through the winter. Just had some last night. I've managed to keep a couple of large rosemary pots alive for a few years now, and they keep us in fresh rosemary year-round.

This summer I experimented with making herb salts. If you use just enough salt to dry the herbs, you get can get an intensely herbal flavor, but it's not so salty that it prevents you from using a good amount of it. I made a basic herbs de Provence salt, and a basil-lemongrass salt. Great on things like potatoes or popcorn, but also good on, say, an very fudgy brownie or a shortbread cookie, if you're into that sort of thing.
 
2014-01-09 05:34:26 PM  
If not for the polar vortex, there would still be sage alive in a protected spot in my herb garden. That usually doesn't die back until after Christmas here. Fried sage leaves are teh awesome.
 
2014-01-09 05:35:41 PM  

litespeed74: Fresh when it makes sense to use fresh.  I chop up a mixture of fresh herbs as an appetizer.

In a processor, chop handfuls of basil, thyme and rosemary.  Add some garlic and dried red chili.
Add to good olive oil
Dip good bread
enjoy.

I hated buying herbs at  insane costs at the market.

I just bought some seeds online and I hope to get a good indoor herb garden going until summer.  I don't know what I'm doing but I look forward to learning.
Any Farkers grow indoors?  And no, not that kind of herb..


Well, I intended to. Don't be so quick to discount what *those* growers of *those* plants can teach you, though... While the nutritional requirement for the plants may vary (especially because you're looking at a strictly vegetative state for most herbs and not to enter any flowering), the ingenuity that can be passed on is really invaluable.
 
2014-01-09 05:36:19 PM  
10 spices? Some of these have to be doubles.
31.media.tumblr.com
Ore A Gone O?
 
2014-01-09 05:38:45 PM  
My house has really deep eaves, and a small kitchen window, so I can't grow herbs inside. I grow them in the back yard during the summer; fresh basil and parsley are the ones that the dried herbs can't substitute for. I sometimes buy fresh tarragon and thyme, and put the excess in the freezer. Ninety percent of the herbs/spices I use, other than garlic, are dried, but I have a large drawer and three shelves full of herbs and spices.
 
vpc
2014-01-09 05:39:32 PM  

canavar: grow your own  and then you can make herb pastes and freeze them...have them on hand all year long


snip the herb, throw into a food processor with a little olive oil and puree it up.  scrape it into a zip lock AND LABEL IT---herbs tend to look all the same when you do this---then put it in the freezer.  fresh herbs all the time.


I do this but I measure teaspoons and tablespoons into an ice cube tray before freezing - 24 hours later I put it in my (LABELED is right) ziplock. Then if I need a measured amount - rare, as I follow grandma's rule of cooking, add enough so it tastes right - I have it without thawing the entire jar.
 
2014-01-09 05:39:45 PM  
Spoiled where I live. My herbs can really grow outside all year (some months more than others of course). Basil is the toughest to keep going it seems. There are no natural predators (rabbits, deer and such) to worry about.
 
2014-01-09 05:40:47 PM  
Kind of a threadjack, but still herb-related...

I cook for a living, so we have tons of dried herbs and spices. I keep them in an over-the-door shoe rack with clear plastic pockets. They're alphabetized, and each pocket has Dymo labels. Husband still yells upstairs to ask where the Rosemary is. My answer is never anything like "Fourth row down, two to the left, MARKED ROSEMARY"...I just say "It has a silver cap and the label's red." "Found it! Thanks honey!"

:)
 
2014-01-09 05:43:29 PM  
I can't keep basil alive. Indoors, outdoors, sunlight, shade, dry, wet, doesn't matter. It wilts and dies within days no matter what I do.
 
2014-01-09 05:44:03 PM  
Tuscan Rosemary, a couple Thymes, a couple Lavenders, the wife likes Mint..so she grows 7 varieties, a few Sage, Greek Oregano, Dill.  Plus a few aromatic veggies like carrots, celery & onions.  We both work on the garden when we can.

In the off-season is what the grocery is for.  and I wouldn't thumb my nose at dried bottled herbs and spices either.
 
2014-01-09 05:44:22 PM  
semi-threadjack, but also herb related: I have a Costco-sized bag of pine nuts...besides making ten years' worth of pesto, any ideas what else to do with it?
 
2014-01-09 05:44:52 PM  
Except for bay. Bay leaves are usually preferred dry.
 
2014-01-09 05:46:33 PM  
Aside from fresh or dried, there's also the "steeped in vodka" option. I did a lemon-rosemary vodka and a cardamom-vanilla vodka last fall.
 
2014-01-09 05:47:02 PM  

Mr.Hawk: Spoiled where I live. My herbs can really grow outside all year (some months more than others of course). Basil is the toughest to keep going it seems. There are no natural predators (rabbits, deer and such) to worry about.


All basil will eventually succumb to fusarium wilt.  But they'll start to taste like crap before that.  Only young plants taste good.
 
2014-01-09 05:47:03 PM  

voodoomedic: semi-threadjack, but also herb related: I have a Costco-sized bag of pine nuts...besides making ten years' worth of pesto, any ideas what else to do with it?


They're good in hummus, and make a really good crust for chicken breasts.
 
2014-01-09 05:47:23 PM  
Fresh basil, didn't think it was easy until I visited some friends in Hawaii who grew and ate it fresh. Problem is, I don't get enough sunlight due to the mountain blocking most daylight. (1, 700 elevation to my 900 elevation makes for lovely views, but notsomuch sunlight, which is awesome for Phoenix)
 
2014-01-09 05:49:44 PM  

voodoomedic: semi-threadjack, but also herb related: I have a Costco-sized bag of pine nuts...besides making ten years' worth of pesto, any ideas what else to do with it?


http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/177

Aslo, saute spinach with garlic and top with toasted nuts.
 
2014-01-09 05:50:41 PM  
Thyme, oregano and rosemary are acceptable dried.  Dried basil is an abomination.  Dried sage is also rather useless.
 
2014-01-09 05:51:18 PM  

Shazam999: Mr.Hawk: Spoiled where I live. My herbs can really grow outside all year (some months more than others of course). Basil is the toughest to keep going it seems. There are no natural predators (rabbits, deer and such) to worry about.

All basil will eventually succumb to fusarium wilt.  But they'll start to taste like crap before that.  Only young plants taste good.



Sweet! I was looking for a new band name!
 
2014-01-09 05:53:10 PM  

someonelse: voodoomedic: semi-threadjack, but also herb related: I have a Costco-sized bag of pine nuts...besides making ten years' worth of pesto, any ideas what else to do with it?

http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/177

Aslo, saute spinach with garlic and top with toasted nuts.


just toast the nuts and put them in salads, or whatever.  they are very versatile.
 
2014-01-09 05:53:54 PM  
I tried to get rosemary and lavender to grow on our balcony but I don't think I'll be trying from seeds again. Our mint plant that we have inside does pretty well, though. I freeze each harvest since mint tea is the only tea I can stomach.
 
2014-01-09 05:55:25 PM  

Mr_Fabulous: I, too, have a whole bunch of fresh ones in pots. They all grow like weeds in the summer months, out on the deck. But they're kind of a pain to keep alive over the winter (don't even try with basil).

I hadn't thought of using a grow light. Suppose I should.

Anyway, fresh herbs are the tits. They make an immense difference in my daube de boeuf provencal and my lemon-oregano chicken.

/also, fresh-cracked pepper
//and real garlic


Real garlic is the best. I don't mind chopping it. I've used that pre-chopped stuff in the jars and it's convenient but it never tastes right.
 
2014-01-09 06:01:17 PM  
This is what I was talking about earlier as far as the light goes, FTR.i993.photobucket.comi993.photobucket.com It's definitely a great way to go if you want to grow. Only 216w on the entire fixture, emit the proper light spectrum for good vegetative growth, low heat, and they make 2 ft, 3 ft, and 4 ft fixtures as well. You can even get single bulb up to 8 bulb (probably more too). That one was like 70 bucks or something? Home Depot has T5 fixture for much cheaper, but you have to buy the bulbs separately and make sure you're getting the right ones.
 
2014-01-09 06:03:28 PM  

Mr.Hawk: Shazam999: Mr.Hawk: Spoiled where I live. My herbs can really grow outside all year (some months more than others of course). Basil is the toughest to keep going it seems. There are no natural predators (rabbits, deer and such) to worry about.

All basil will eventually succumb to fusarium wilt.  But they'll start to taste like crap before that.  Only young plants taste good.


Sweet! I was looking for a new band name!


This is why I love Fark. I could never figure out why my tomatoes wilted out and never came back regardless of watering or fertilizings...fusarium wilt.

There is growing interest in using Fusarium wilt as a form of biological control. Certain pathogenic strains of F. oxysporum could be released to infect and control invasive weed species. This type of control (called a mycoherbicide) would be more targeted than herbicide applications, without the associated problems of chemical use. In addition. F. oxysporum may compete with other soil fungi that act as pathogens of important crops. Introducing specific strains of F. oxysporum that are not pathogenic (or non-infectious mutants of pathogens) to nearby crops could take nutrients from other potential disease-causing fungi.

Thank you Shazzam. Now I won't feel so guilty when I stare at my poor tomato plants....
 
2014-01-09 06:03:36 PM  
Fresh - always.

I grow Rosemary, fennel, and chives - I've had the fennel for almost five years; you can't kill it.  Basil?  Love the stuff but for some crazy reason I cannot keep basil alive.
 
2014-01-09 06:08:49 PM  

someonelse: voodoomedic: semi-threadjack, but also herb related: I have a Costco-sized bag of pine nuts...besides making ten years' worth of pesto, any ideas what else to do with it?

http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/177

Aslo, saute spinach with garlic and top with toasted nuts.



It's kind of funny that in a recipe for "Pine Nut Cookies" the pine nuts are listed as optional.

=]
 
2014-01-09 06:09:48 PM  

This text is now purple: Except for bay. Bay leaves are usually preferred dry.


Not once you've tried fresh, they're not. They're still not to be eaten, just used for their essence -- the flavor is overpowering and I think they're mildly toxic or something -- but you can keep fresh bay leaves in your freezer and they're just fine. The flavor is much better IMHO.
 
2014-01-09 06:09:53 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Mr.Hawk: Shazam999: Mr.Hawk: Spoiled where I live. My herbs can really grow outside all year (some months more than others of course). Basil is the toughest to keep going it seems. There are no natural predators (rabbits, deer and such) to worry about.

All basil will eventually succumb to fusarium wilt.  But they'll start to taste like crap before that.  Only young plants taste good.


Sweet! I was looking for a new band name!

This is why I love Fark. I could never figure out why my tomatoes wilted out and never came back regardless of watering or fertilizings...fusarium wilt.

There is growing interest in using Fusarium wilt as a form of biological control. Certain pathogenic strains of F. oxysporum could be released to infect and control invasive weed species. This type of control (called a mycoherbicide) would be more targeted than herbicide applications, without the associated problems of chemical use. In addition. F. oxysporum may compete with other soil fungi that act as pathogens of important crops. Introducing specific strains of F. oxysporum that are not pathogenic (or non-infectious mutants of pathogens) to nearby crops could take nutrients from other potential disease-causing fungi.

Thank you Shazzam. Now I won't feel so guilty when I stare at my poor tomato plants....


Try F. Wilt resistant varieties (they'll have an F designation).  Also not sure where you live but high humidity can cause problems too.  Try not to get the leaves wet when watering, also you can plant tomatoes super deep (pinch off the lower leaves from the stem, plant 6-12 inches of the stem) as they'll make roots from the buried stem).
 
2014-01-09 06:09:57 PM  
Dried for convenience, fresh when I'm feeling it.
 
2014-01-09 06:11:22 PM  
I grow mint year round- use it for some cooking and for making mint simple syrup for tea and for cocktails. I also grow cilantro and basil in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Last season I ended up with three basil bushes, each about four feet tall. Made 7 quarts of pesto. Ate two and gave the rest away as gifts. I'm going to grow a wider variety this year- thyme, sage and dill for sure.
 
2014-01-09 06:13:28 PM  
I had an awesome Basil plant going, but leaf miners got it. I live in S. Florida and its always some sort of crazy bug eating my plants. Just lost a bunch of cucumbers.
 
2014-01-09 06:13:39 PM  

Shazam999: TheShavingofOccam123: Mr.Hawk: Shazam999: Mr.Hawk: Spoiled where I live. My herbs can really grow outside all year (some months more than others of course). Basil is the toughest to keep going it seems. There are no natural predators (rabbits, deer and such) to worry about.

All basil will eventually succumb to fusarium wilt.  But they'll start to taste like crap before that.  Only young plants taste good.


Sweet! I was looking for a new band name!

This is why I love Fark. I could never figure out why my tomatoes wilted out and never came back regardless of watering or fertilizings...fusarium wilt.

There is growing interest in using Fusarium wilt as a form of biological control. Certain pathogenic strains of F. oxysporum could be released to infect and control invasive weed species. This type of control (called a mycoherbicide) would be more targeted than herbicide applications, without the associated problems of chemical use. In addition. F. oxysporum may compete with other soil fungi that act as pathogens of important crops. Introducing specific strains of F. oxysporum that are not pathogenic (or non-infectious mutants of pathogens) to nearby crops could take nutrients from other potential disease-causing fungi.

Thank you Shazzam. Now I won't feel so guilty when I stare at my poor tomato plants....

Try F. Wilt resistant varieties (they'll have an F designation).  Also not sure where you live but high humidity can cause problems too.  Try not to get the leaves wet when watering, also you can plant tomatoes super deep (pinch off the lower leaves from the stem, plant 6-12 inches of the stem) as they'll make roots from the buried stem).


I haven't done tomatoes, but do you know if you can use an enzymatic digestor/beneficial microbial/h202 to avoid those problems?
 
2014-01-09 06:14:27 PM  

naughtyrev: fat aristotle: naughtyrev: fat aristotle: Gonz: I grow my own cilantro, basil, parsley, and thyme. Oh, and mint.

Fresh herbs are super easy to grow, and taste exponentially better IMO.

I'd love to but my apartment doesn't get direct sunlight.

Mine doesn't either, so I got one of these. Works great.

I've read about those but didn't know anyone who has actually tried it. I'll have to consider that.

Here's mine with about 3 weeks of growth on it:
[i.imgur.com image 320x240]

The basil runs riot, so you have to keep it constantly plucked.


I'll just leave this here.
 
2014-01-09 06:21:03 PM  

Witty Comment: I haven't done tomatoes, but do you know if you can use an enzymatic digestor/beneficial microbial/h202 to avoid those problems?


Can't see how any of those would help.  H202 is of dubious plant use despite all the garble on the internet about it.

Try resistant varieties first.  There are about 40 bojillion varieties of tomatoes so I guarantee you'll find something that'll work for you.
 
2014-01-09 06:23:49 PM  
Most of this has been said, but allow me to reiterate:

1. Fresh and dry herbs are not interchangeable. I cook almost entirely from recipes and use only what is called for; if you're improvising, the dried versions are usually stronger than fresh (although this runs counter to the experience of  TheShavingofOccam123).

2. Dry herbs and spices must still be "fresh." That 10 year old bottle of dried sage you have is no good. I've heard it's best to use dried herbs and spices within 6 months.

3. Fresh herbs can be preserved by freezing them. The best way to do this is to blanch, puree, and then divide into an ice cube tray (that way you are not chipping away at a giant block of frozen basil when you need it). The blanching step is optional, but it will keep your herbs bright green, otherwise they turn brownish in the blender/food processor.

4. As for spices, you should use whole spices whenever possible and grind them yourself. I have a additional coffee grinder for the purpose. Or, if you like exercise, you can use a mortar and pestle. Pre-ground black pepper, in particular (pun intended), is virtually useless.
 
2014-01-09 06:27:12 PM  

Jekylman: tricycleracer: Basil is the easiest thing to grow.  It gets real sad looking and screams at you to water it days before it will actually croak.

Here in Southern California, cilantro and mint are the easiest things to grow. You can't get rid of mint and cilantro will sprout despite your best efforts.

Also in the garden:
sage
vast swaths of rosemary
chives/onions
marjoram
thyme
basil
rue
lemongrass
Also use lime tree leaves in an herb-like manner.


keep mint in pots or it will take over.
/the hard way.
//would you like some tea
 
2014-01-09 06:29:42 PM  

Shazam999: Witty Comment: I haven't done tomatoes, but do you know if you can use an enzymatic digestor/beneficial microbial/h202 to avoid those problems?

Can't see how any of those would help.  H202 is of dubious plant use despite all the garble on the internet about it.

Try resistant varieties first.  There are about 40 bojillion varieties of tomatoes so I guarantee you'll find something that'll work for you.


Well, idk about dubious for the h202... it definitely takes care of the bacterial aspect of the problem and supplies oxygen to the root zone. I'm not Googling this right meow so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty most root rot problems are caused by an anaerobic environment so the h202 helps with that in hydroponic applications as long as the reservoir temps are at a level where the water can carry dissolved oxygen, in soil you're just kind of screwing the pooch by messing up the beneficial bacteria/mycorrhizae so it can't feed the plant properly. The enzymes and digestors just aid in the process of fending off the problem to begin with by breaking down the dead root matter and digesting it so it doesn't fester in the rhizosphere, and simultaneously stimulate new root growth as well.
 
2014-01-09 06:32:37 PM  

Witty Comment: Shazam999: Witty Comment: I haven't done tomatoes, but do you know if you can use an enzymatic digestor/beneficial microbial/h202 to avoid those problems?

Can't see how any of those would help.  H202 is of dubious plant use despite all the garble on the internet about it.

Try resistant varieties first.  There are about 40 bojillion varieties of tomatoes so I guarantee you'll find something that'll work for you.

Well, idk about dubious for the h202... it definitely takes care of the bacterial aspect of the problem and supplies oxygen to the root zone. I'm not Googling this right meow so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty most root rot problems are caused by an anaerobic environment so the h202 helps with that in hydroponic applications as long as the reservoir temps are at a level where the water can carry dissolved oxygen, in soil you're just kind of screwing the pooch by messing up the beneficial bacteria/mycorrhizae so it can't feed the plant properly. The enzymes and digestors just aid in the process of fending off the problem to begin with by breaking down the dead root matter and digesting it so it doesn't fester in the rhizosphere, and simultaneously stimulate new root growth as well.


I guess you're talking hydroponics, I just grow tomatoes in soil.  Thing with tomatoes is that they create massive root systems so if you want hydro for them be prepared...
 
2014-01-09 06:34:04 PM  

Witty Comment: Shazam999: Witty Comment: I haven't done tomatoes, but do you know if you can use an enzymatic digestor/beneficial microbial/h202 to avoid those problems?

Can't see how any of those would help.  H202 is of dubious plant use despite all the garble on the internet about it.

Try resistant varieties first.  There are about 40 bojillion varieties of tomatoes so I guarantee you'll find something that'll work for you.

Well, idk about dubious for the h202... it definitely takes care of the bacterial aspect of the problem and supplies oxygen to the root zone. I'm not Googling this right meow so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty most root rot problems are caused by an anaerobic environment so the h202 helps with that in hydroponic applications as long as the reservoir temps are at a level where the water can carry dissolved oxygen, in soil you're just kind of screwing the pooch by messing up the beneficial bacteria/mycorrhizae so it can't feed the plant properly. The enzymes and digestors just aid in the process of fending off the problem to begin with by breaking down the dead root matter and digesting it so it doesn't fester in the rhizosphere, and simultaneously stimulate new root growth as well.


Oh yeah and if you go hydro then you should prefer varieties that do well in greenhouses, as many tomato varieties do very poorly otherwise.
 
2014-01-09 06:35:09 PM  

Shazam999: Witty Comment: Shazam999: Witty Comment: I haven't done tomatoes, but do you know if you can use an enzymatic digestor/beneficial microbial/h202 to avoid those problems?

Can't see how any of those would help.  H202 is of dubious plant use despite all the garble on the internet about it.

Try resistant varieties first.  There are about 40 bojillion varieties of tomatoes so I guarantee you'll find something that'll work for you.

Well, idk about dubious for the h202... it definitely takes care of the bacterial aspect of the problem and supplies oxygen to the root zone. I'm not Googling this right meow so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty most root rot problems are caused by an anaerobic environment so the h202 helps with that in hydroponic applications as long as the reservoir temps are at a level where the water can carry dissolved oxygen, in soil you're just kind of screwing the pooch by messing up the beneficial bacteria/mycorrhizae so it can't feed the plant properly. The enzymes and digestors just aid in the process of fending off the problem to begin with by breaking down the dead root matter and digesting it so it doesn't fester in the rhizosphere, and simultaneously stimulate new root growth as well.

I guess you're talking hydroponics, I just grow tomatoes in soil.  Thing with tomatoes is that they create massive root systems so if you want hydro for them be prepared...


Lol, well believe me, I'm no stranger to gigantic root systems. ;) I'd bet a lot of the mistake people make in soil is also over watering and creating the environment for that to happen in the first place. Like I said though, haven't done tomatoes but I think indoor gardening tends to have the same environmental hazards.
 
2014-01-09 06:40:09 PM  
I almost always have fresh parsley, basil, and cilantro on hand (even though the cilantro and basil get goopy and weird pretty fast). Another tip that works pretty well with fresh herbs is treat them like you would cut flowers- snip a bit of the ends off and put them in a glass of water and then cover with a loose fitting plastic baggie and refrigerate. It isn't a perfect solution, but it will extend the window of opportunity you get with fresh stuff if you aren't inclined to go the food processor/olive oil/ freezer route.

I'm trapped in a virtually sunless apartment now after having veggie/herb gardens for over 15 years- that aero garden is looking pretty sweet! Thanks for the tip!

=]
 
2014-01-09 06:41:17 PM  

Witty Comment: Shazam999: Witty Comment: Shazam999: Witty Comment: I haven't done tomatoes, but do you know if you can use an enzymatic digestor/beneficial microbial/h202 to avoid those problems?

Can't see how any of those would help.  H202 is of dubious plant use despite all the garble on the internet about it.

Try resistant varieties first.  There are about 40 bojillion varieties of tomatoes so I guarantee you'll find something that'll work for you.

Well, idk about dubious for the h202... it definitely takes care of the bacterial aspect of the problem and supplies oxygen to the root zone. I'm not Googling this right meow so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty most root rot problems are caused by an anaerobic environment so the h202 helps with that in hydroponic applications as long as the reservoir temps are at a level where the water can carry dissolved oxygen, in soil you're just kind of screwing the pooch by messing up the beneficial bacteria/mycorrhizae so it can't feed the plant properly. The enzymes and digestors just aid in the process of fending off the problem to begin with by breaking down the dead root matter and digesting it so it doesn't fester in the rhizosphere, and simultaneously stimulate new root growth as well.

I guess you're talking hydroponics, I just grow tomatoes in soil.  Thing with tomatoes is that they create massive root systems so if you want hydro for them be prepared...

Lol, well believe me, I'm no stranger to gigantic root systems. ;) I'd bet a lot of the mistake people make in soil is also over watering and creating the environment for that to happen in the first place. Like I said though, haven't done tomatoes but I think indoor gardening tends to have the same environmental hazards.


Tomato plants can get massive.  It ain't weed.

thephotogardenbee.com

But yeah, same indoor hazards apply.  Your expertise is transferable.
 
2014-01-09 06:42:15 PM  
I'm a herbicidal maniac and not to be trusted around any sort of potted or gardened plant; I can kill even the toughest. But my entire front/side yard is wild thyme, and it is the most wonderful smelling, beautiful ground cover you can imagine. And lovely to sprinkle into stews, etc.
 
2014-01-09 06:45:45 PM  

eyeoftheaxis: Jekylman: tricycleracer: Basil is the easiest thing to grow.  It gets real sad looking and screams at you to water it days before it will actually croak.

Here in Southern California, cilantro and mint are the easiest things to grow. You can't get rid of mint and cilantro will sprout despite your best efforts.

Also in the garden:
sage
vast swaths of rosemary
chives/onions
marjoram
thyme
basil
rue
lemongrass
Also use lime tree leaves in an herb-like manner.

keep mint in pots or it will take over.
/the hard way.
//would you like some tea


Makes for a fantastic mint-chip ice cream.
 
2014-01-09 06:46:09 PM  
 I'm surprised someone hasn't pointed this out...

Fresh herbs are cartainly wonderful, but dried have greater intensity of flavor.  So, when I am going for subtle,  I use fresh.  When I want more of an herbal blast, I use dried.  Certain Italian sauces need dried oregano for maximum flavor.  Pesto, on the other hand, wants fresh basil. Salsa needs fresh cilantro, but stewed tomatoes cry out for dried.  Fresh dill is necessary for making dill pickles, but dried does well in tzaziki sauce.for gyros.  It all depends.
 
2014-01-09 06:46:12 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Not so fast, Freshy Fresh Subby.

Dried parsley has its place. So does granulated onion. The fresh items of these two are too overpowering (I guess it can be blamed on oils and other liquids in them) for lots of recipes. Additionally, I think dried parsley tastes completely different than fresh parsley. No high notes like fresh, just a nice earthy layer underneath every other taste.

/I am worried about the amount of dried parsley and granulated onions I use and how often I use them.
/don't get me started on bay leaf


There's actually two common kinds of fresh parsley - curly leaf and italian (flat).  Curly is very vegetal.  Italian is much milder.

I can't imagine not using fresh onion, granulated onion is very useful as well, but I consider it a totally different product and therefore different uses (rubs, for instance).
 
2014-01-09 06:46:21 PM  

Sass-O-Rev: I'm a herbicidal maniac and not to be trusted around any sort of potted or gardened plant; I can kill even the toughest. But my entire front/side yard is wild thyme, and it is the most wonderful smelling, beautiful ground cover you can imagine. And lovely to sprinkle into stews, etc.



Thyme is my favorite, hands down. If I had to pick only one herb to use for the rest of my life it would be thyme.
 
2014-01-09 06:49:43 PM  
I use an NFT system and grow my soft herbs fresh in that. Woody herbs sit in soil outdoors.

And if you ever want help, I'm cheap, and hey, $5 for 15 minutes of video/voice time with a horticultural research director (usually longer, I don't charge for overtime) is a damned good price, considering I can solve almost every problem you may have within those 15 (or more) minutes.

https://helpouts.google.com/search?q=gardening

I'm usually the top listing.
 
2014-01-09 06:51:06 PM  

Habitual Cynic: I'm surprised someone hasn't pointed this out...

Fresh herbs are cartainly wonderful, but dried have greater intensity of flavor.  So, when I am going for subtle,  I use fresh.  When I want more of an herbal blast, I use dried.  Certain Italian sauces need dried oregano for maximum flavor.  Pesto, on the other hand, wants fresh basil. Salsa needs fresh cilantro, but stewed tomatoes cry out for dried.  Fresh dill is necessary for making dill pickles, but dried does well in tzaziki sauce.for gyros.  It all depends.



And fresh oregano is REALLY strong. I don't think many people realize that and accidentally over do it.
 
2014-01-09 06:52:04 PM  
My rosemary plant started out as a 6" cutting from a relative's garden, now it's a small tree.  I found out the hard way to put some herbs in pots rather than plant them directly in the ground--it turns out oregano is Italian for "invasive ground cover".  Last couple years my thyme has returned every spring so I've always got some around when it's time to grill fish.

Basil, however, must be grown indoors.  I usually get one or two of those "live basil" rootballs in the produce section and keep it in a glass of water for months, or until I get tired of it and make enough pesto to drown a horse.  If I try to grow it outside it sends out an invisible Deer Signal and they'll trample every other living thing in the yard to get to it.  Every time, eaten to the ground.  I'd try and rig some sort of Rube Goldberg taser device if it weren't for neighborhood cats, kids, etc.  (sAaaayyyy....)

Made the mistake of planting the chives next to the onions one year, now we have onion-flavored chives forevermore (not that this is a bad thing, necessarily).
 
2014-01-09 06:52:56 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Not so fast, Freshy Fresh Subby.

Dried parsley has its place. So does granulated onion. The fresh items of these two are too overpowering (I guess it can be blamed on oils and other liquids in them) for lots of recipes. Additionally, I think dried parsley tastes completely different than fresh parsley. No high notes like fresh, just a nice earthy layer underneath every other taste.

/I am worried about the amount of dried parsley and granulated onions I use and how often I use them.
/don't get me started on bay leaf


I make an old-school bread (baked in the oven in le creuset or similar pots) that uses TONS of granulated onion and a spicy spaghetti mixture of herbs.  It's fantabulous.  Try it with fresh herbs and you get....meh.

We get tons of sun in the summer, and grow some herbs then, but bulbs NEVER grow for me.  Onions, garlic, radishes...I never get anything.  Mint will take over my farking garden if I let it.  I grow it so the kids can eat it, but even with all the kids I have, they can't keep up.  ;)   Plus, that root ball mint makes takes up a ton of space and leaves my other stuff wanting.

You people grow saffron?  Seriously?  I want to know how you do this.
 
2014-01-09 06:53:03 PM  
www.growyourownstone.com
 
2014-01-09 06:57:05 PM  

voodoomedic: semi-threadjack, but also herb related: I have a Costco-sized bag of pine nuts...besides making ten years' worth of pesto, any ideas what else to do with it?

Basil pesto pine-nut bread.
Not kidding.
 
2014-01-09 06:59:53 PM  

praxcelis: My rosemary plant started out as a 6" cutting from a relative's garden, now it's a small tree.  I found out the hard way to put some herbs in pots rather than plant them directly in the ground--it turns out oregano is Italian for "invasive ground cover".  Last couple years my thyme has returned every spring so I've always got some around when it's time to grill fish.

Basil, however, must be grown indoors.  I usually get one or two of those "live basil" rootballs in the produce section and keep it in a glass of water for months, or until I get tired of it and make enough pesto to drown a horse.  If I try to grow it outside it sends out an invisible Deer Signal and they'll trample every other living thing in the yard to get to it.  Every time, eaten to the ground.  I'd try and rig some sort of Rube Goldberg taser device if it weren't for neighborhood cats, kids, etc.  (sAaaayyyy....)

Made the mistake of planting the chives next to the onions one year, now we have onion-flavored chives forevermore (not that this is a bad thing, necessarily).



That reminds me of the mistake I made one year- I planted the green bell peppers next to the jalapenos and ended up with spicy green bells and really lame jalapenos. I was pretty new at the gardening thing and didn't know about cross pollination altering the flavors of some veggies.
 
2014-01-09 07:05:25 PM  

praxcelis: Basil, however, must be grown indoors.


i50.photobucket.com

Nah, you want to grow it outdoors, in a DWC bucket.

/The plants in soil were the mothers
//The tomato in hydro was 9 feet down over the railing, downstairs neighbors could just pick from that section and I picked from the top. Still had leftovers.
//Basil OOZED oil from the leaves.
 
2014-01-09 07:19:57 PM  

khyberkitsune: praxcelis: Basil, however, must be grown indoors.

[i50.photobucket.com image 850x636]

Nah, you want to grow it outdoors, in a DWC bucket.

/The plants in soil were the mothers
//The tomato in hydro was 9 feet down over the railing, downstairs neighbors could just pick from that section and I picked from the top. Still had leftovers.
//Basil OOZED oil from the leaves.


See, I'd love to have that kind of healthy plant.  Especially now--it's time for me to make red sauce again and I can't do anything small, so it's 20 quarts or so.  You appear to have a fenced balcony on an upper floor, so the aforementioned deer problem wouldn't be an issue for you. :)   I have an unfenced yard (I know, I know, "build a fence".  I live on a small side street where the easement for all the underground utilities would have a fence about four inches from the house in spots.  Besides, I like the view.)
 
2014-01-09 07:25:01 PM  

trippdogg: [www.growyourownstone.com image 850x565]


s12.postimg.org

Herbs?
 
2014-01-09 07:25:04 PM  
when i was a younger man I'd go through about an ounce a week but then I got old
 
2014-01-09 07:29:55 PM  
I prefer fresh for pastas or any sauce I may be making to stuff meet or top the meat.....Dried is/am/are good for Dry rubs...I'll be darned?

8 beers in.
  Short ribs are in the oven
     Slashy button broke during a feverish battle with a porn site, It was a mess!
 
2014-01-09 07:31:56 PM  

praxcelis: khyberkitsune: praxcelis: Basil, however, must be grown indoors.

[i50.photobucket.com image 850x636]

Nah, you want to grow it outdoors, in a DWC bucket.

/The plants in soil were the mothers
//The tomato in hydro was 9 feet down over the railing, downstairs neighbors could just pick from that section and I picked from the top. Still had leftovers.
//Basil OOZED oil from the leaves.

See, I'd love to have that kind of healthy plant.  Especially now--it's time for me to make red sauce again and I can't do anything small, so it's 20 quarts or so.  You appear to have a fenced balcony on an upper floor, so the aforementioned deer problem wouldn't be an issue for you. :)   I have an unfenced yard (I know, I know, "build a fence".  I live on a small side street where the easement for all the underground utilities would have a fence about four inches from the house in spots.  Besides, I like the view.)


No, don't build a fence. Put the basil in a sunny area behind some other plants the deer doesn't like. Citronella is a good one to use, and it can tolerate hydroponics pretty well, so it can become pungent and stop the deer (and repel mosquitoes to some degree!)
 
2014-01-09 07:33:28 PM  
SF Bay Area.

Rosemary grows like a hedge. You can cut fresh rosemary year-round. Bay laurel (Bay Leaf) is available within a block or two where ever you are, if you know what it looks like. Mint is a weed and it grows everywhere here. Parsley is a pain to grow, but "fresh" is cheap at the grocery. That pretty much covers all my needs except for Basil and Sage which grow in a planter box.
 
2014-01-09 07:36:20 PM  
Just saw the headline, so I going to quickly respond to the headline before I read the thread itself.. between spring and fall harvest I grow massive amounts of fresh herbs in the gardens. use fresh during the season, dry and store excess for the winter and sell/give away various stocks, over winter I use a lot of fresh evergreen herbs like rosemary which I feel is usually more seasonal specific for flavoring anyways.I have two bay laural trees for bay leaves, and they evergreens as well.
Where I live..the oregano plants never fully die back, as well as sage, thyme and chives. mint is good as well Basil?too tender to survive even Virginia's mild winters but I have rooted cuttings on the kitchen window sill, and of course all the dried reserves.
 
2014-01-09 07:46:39 PM  
also, it's harder than hell to grow cilantro in iowa

mexican guy I know says it'll bolt with weather fluctuations and Iowa ain't nothing but that

damn I love cilantro
 
2014-01-09 08:05:33 PM  

Omahawg: also, it's harder than hell to grow cilantro in iowa

mexican guy I know says it'll bolt with weather fluctuations and Iowa ain't nothing but that

damn I love cilantro


If you let it seed you'll get coriander, which is nice.
 
2014-01-09 08:05:39 PM  
All I know is rosemary get way out of control if left unchecked. I can only eat so much lamb.
 
kth
2014-01-09 08:09:58 PM  
I am terrible at growing herbs. Basil in the ground excepted. We had pounds of that stuff this summer. I am hoping to get a raised bed that I can move around for herbs. I also got a greenhouse for christmas, so I'm hoping that I can keep some going in there.
 
2014-01-09 08:13:42 PM  

exvaxman: I have half a dozen aero gardens, picked up for $10 each from a bankruptcy sale. Great for fresh herbs throughout the year. It is also very easy and cheap to build your own version with styrofoam coolers, thrift store aquarium pumps, air stones, and some cheap items from your local hydroponics store. I keep four large units outside in growing season.


i got one of the aero gardens at a garage sale for like $10. i was pretty excited about it, and its ok if you only need a smale amount or herbs occassionally. my overall experience was the herbs grew much smaller than outside and it could be difficult to have enough. also outside herbs generally grow together just fine. I found things like basil would monopolize the space inside while the tyme would barely grow. it also is farking loud. my bulbs burned out and I didn't think it was worth 30 or whatever to buy new ones.

//grows a few kinds of basil, chive, garlic chive, tyme, oregono, chocolate mint, spearamint, sage, and a half dozen other things in the summer. I really miss them in the winter. the aero garden just seemed like it didn't do much for me.
 
2014-01-09 08:22:06 PM  

theorellior: Omahawg: also, it's harder than hell to grow cilantro in iowa

mexican guy I know says it'll bolt with weather fluctuations and Iowa ain't nothing but that

damn I love cilantro

If you let it seed you'll get coriander, which is nice.


I know. and it is.

but cilantro!
 
2014-01-09 08:37:24 PM  
I've got mint, parsley and chives in pots that I brought in from Mom's back patio.  I'll put in basil and rosemary in the spring.  The chives and parsley are on their last legs but mint is impossible to kill.  I just put the pots in the south window.  There's no real work to it.
 
2014-01-09 08:42:12 PM  
So since we're talking about growing fresh herbs and all -- I'm moving from Texas (where I can't keep a single thing alive for more than a week) to a village in Derbyshire, England in six weeks. Does anyone here live in the East Midlands who could give me a clue or two about my chances of successfully keeping herbs alive there? There's no yard, but an east-facing patio (I'm really better with container gardening anyway), and also a nice deep window well, also east-facing, in the kitchen. There's also a very narrow fenced bit along the front of the house (west-facing) that currently has a couple of scruffy-looking potted evergreens of some sort and might also be usable for potted herbs.

Any advice would be extremely welcome. I prefer to start with 4" potted herbs rather than seed -- when's best to plant them? How often will I need to water? Is there anything I can leave outside in the winter, or will everything need to come inside? The only place I've ever kept things alive consistently before was an apartment balcony in a foggy suburb on the coast just south of San Francisco, and I really have no idea what to expect in England other than "cool and damp". Which is encouraging, but may not be the same kind of cool and damp as Pacifica CA.

I throw myself upon your mercy.
 
2014-01-09 08:43:51 PM  
There's a few herbs that are better fresh, but most spices (and some herbs like tarragon) have a better flavour when they've dried.
I freeze herbs into little ice cubes or use dry in the winter, except cilantro which I can get fresh at the grocery store.
 
2014-01-09 08:45:42 PM  

Igor Jakovsky: All I know is rosemary get way out of control if left unchecked. I can only eat so much lamb.


Rosemary's nice with pork (roast or chops) and chicken (marinate in lemon juice and rosemary) too. The blossoms are beautiful and delicious sprinkled on a salad. And it takes well to pruning... if you have more than you can use, take the extra to work and share.
 
2014-01-09 08:48:11 PM  

La Maudite: So since we're talking about growing fresh herbs and all -- I'm moving from Texas (where I can't keep a single thing alive for more than a week) to a village in Derbyshire, England in six weeks. Does anyone here live in the East Midlands who could give me a clue or two about my chances of successfully keeping herbs alive there? There's no yard, but an east-facing patio (I'm really better with container gardening anyway), and also a nice deep window well, also east-facing, in the kitchen. There's also a very narrow fenced bit along the front of the house (west-facing) that currently has a couple of scruffy-looking potted evergreens of some sort and might also be usable for potted herbs.

Any advice would be extremely welcome. I prefer to start with 4" potted herbs rather than seed -- when's best to plant them? How often will I need to water? Is there anything I can leave outside in the winter, or will everything need to come inside? The only place I've ever kept things alive consistently before was an apartment balcony in a foggy suburb on the coast just south of San Francisco, and I really have no idea what to expect in England other than "cool and damp". Which is encouraging, but may not be the same kind of cool and damp as Pacifica CA.

I throw myself upon your mercy.


You might wish to look up Adam Jensen, who is I think in that area. He's the host of CountryFile on the BBC.

As a born and raised Texan, and having done horticultural work in the UK, you will have a much easier time growing herbs. Freezes aren't very common in the area you're moving to, though it can get chilly. Herbs do well outdoors, especially garlic.
 
2014-01-09 08:49:57 PM  
I should note, you can do all of those in containers, outdoors on a patio or balcony. Most will be okay indoors during the really cold times.
 
2014-01-09 08:56:04 PM  
Great info from you Farkers. Much appreciated.

After 25 years on the road, I came home to SoFla and have a new (2 y. o.)herb garden. Much success with a plot on the NE side of the house- sun in the AM and shade in the hot PM hours. The plot consists of basil (which happily reseeds itself), rosemary (perennial), chives, pineapple, bird peppers (very hot, small native shrub) and marigolds (nematode prevention).

I always keep a few pots on the east side of the house with the annual herbs. Slow-bolt cilantro seeds can be found at Lowes now. For the potted herbs, I use 1/3 bagged topsoil, 1/3 compressed peat moss and 1/3 composted horse manure, of which I have a never-ending supply. Water lightly daily, Miracle-gro once a week in the early stages of growth. I pot curly parsley, sweet mint and cilantro. On the side of the house I have perennial oregano, some chocolate mint (OMG, that's some good tea right there)- and out in the yard there are what we call "river bay" trees. They are weedy shrubs which grow down here, and smell heavenly. I use them like bay laurel.

For those of you who have an actual dirt garden in the backyard, I highly recommend "Carrots Love Tomatoes," a book about companion gardening. It has been a real help. Following the book's recommendation, I had championship lettuce and radishes last spring. Also green onions, snow peas and 400 tomato plants.

/went overboard, but I love me some fresh tomato puree.
 
2014-01-09 08:56:39 PM  
Derbyshire is too cold for basil in the winter but the perennial herbs like oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary should be OK. You might need to bring the rosemary in for a couple of months.
 
2014-01-09 09:00:17 PM  
Growing your own can be fun.  Many of them are pretty resilient to the extent that they take over.  Mint for instance.  Don't plant mint.  Cilantro you have to pull and replace after it bolts.
 
2014-01-09 09:00:34 PM  
My trick: store ginger root in a little jar filled with sherry. The ginger keeps forever, plus you can cook with the ginger-flavoured sherry.
 
2014-01-09 09:03:24 PM  
If you are going to freeze fresh herbs in olive oil cubes, you can save a ton of time by "cube cooking".  As long as the cubes are kept in their own freezer bag, you are good to go.  Just toss a cube into your pot when you want one.  Other things to freeze include:

Red and white wines, not just for cooking, but to cool liquid wine in glasses without watering it down.

The same with coffee ice cubes to make iced coffee.

Blond (colored), caramel (colored) and chocolate (colored) quick roux.  Turn good food great with roux.

Whipping cream, liquid or whipped into divinity-like meringue drops before freezing.  Buttermilk, too.

Tomato paste and tomato sauce.  A normal ice cube is 1 ounce, or 2 tablespoons.

Mashed potatoes, as well as other mashed vegetables, like cauliflower, celery root, beets, parsnips, carrots, avocado, and squash will really liven up a soup or stew.

Pesto.

Fruit juices.
 
2014-01-09 09:10:11 PM  

whatshisname: Derbyshire is too cold for basil in the winter but the perennial herbs like oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary should be OK. You might need to bring the rosemary in for a couple of months.


I figure the kitchen window well should be fine for basil as long as my cat doesn't go after it. (A previous cat, allowed out on the balcony where I was growing catnip and basil among other things, ate half the basil plant before I noticed, ignoring the catnip completely. My furry little gourmand... I miss him so much. Here's a pic of Daddy-O eating the chiles I'd left in a plate of Thai curry (substituting homegrown Hungarian hot wax peppers because I was out of Thai).)

www.merde.org
 
2014-01-09 09:10:24 PM  
TheWriteGirl:

They're good in hummus, and make a really good crust for chicken breasts.

Aslo, saute spinach with garlic and top with toasted nuts


just toast the nuts and put them in salads, or whatever.  they are very versatile. 

TYVM
 
2014-01-09 09:11:37 PM  
I have an herb garden in the back yard. I usually have 12-16 basil plants, oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic bulbs, mint, chamomile, cilantro, and chives. I also have several jalapeno, habanero, and thai chile plants. The local farmer's market supplies me with almost all our meat, eggs, milk, and veg. Usually only go to the grocery store for limited canned goods, plastic bags etc...
 
2014-01-09 09:19:32 PM  

La Maudite: So since we're talking about growing fresh herbs and all -- I'm moving from Texas (where I can't keep a single thing alive for more than a week) to a village in Derbyshire, England in six weeks. Does anyone here live in the East Midlands who could give me a clue or two about my chances of successfully keeping herbs alive there? There's no yard, but an east-facing patio (I'm really better with container gardening anyway), and also a nice deep window well, also east-facing, in the kitchen. There's also a very narrow fenced bit along the front of the house (west-facing) that currently has a couple of scruffy-looking potted evergreens of some sort and might also be usable for potted herbs.

Any advice would be extremely welcome. I prefer to start with 4" potted herbs rather than seed -- when's best to plant them? How often will I need to water? Is there anything I can leave outside in the winter, or will everything need to come inside? The only place I've ever kept things alive consistently before was an apartment balcony in a foggy suburb on the coast just south of San Francisco, and I really have no idea what to expect in England other than "cool and damp". Which is encouraging, but may not be the same kind of cool and damp as Pacifica CA.

I throw myself upon your mercy.


You can't go wrong with thyme, rosemary and parsley.  I live in the Seattle area and our weather is similar.  Be careful about mint- it'll spread like wildfire, but it gets purple, lavender like flowers which the bees love!  I wish I could taste that honey!
 
2014-01-09 09:23:43 PM  
I grow about six fresh herbs all year round, they do great in the house during winter and nice décor as well.  But if I didn't want to deal with live plants I'd use the freeze dried herbs, and I do on occasion.  They retain all their flavor and are already chopped up.
 
2014-01-09 09:38:46 PM  

peacheslatour: You can't go wrong with thyme, rosemary and parsley.  I live in the Seattle area and our weather is similar.  Be careful about mint- it'll spread like wildfire, but it gets purple, lavender like flowers which the bees love!  I wish I could taste that honey!


Oh god, you're reminding me of the farmer's market I used to go to in San Francisco. There was a local honey seller who generally had at least 10 different single-sourced varieties on sale. My favorite was her blackberry honey, which was very dark and had a deep, musky flavor that really stood out, even in small amounts. I used to make a whole wheat loaf with chopped walnuts and blackberry honey that was absolutely divine. The sage honey was also very special.

Mint really is easy -- it grew like a weed around the house I grew up in. I remember my mother frequently sending me out to pick a few stalks to put in iced tea, and there's nothing like a homegrown mojito to cap off a beautiful summer day. Good to know I'll be able to grow thyme, since lemon thyme is never available at groceries and the flavor is impossible to duplicate by cheating.

One of the things I'm most excited about is that the new house is half a mile from a farm store that sells only things they grew/raised/butchered themselves, and a 15 minute drive from one of the biggest and longest-running open-air markets in England, which is open three days a week. For the first time in my life, I'm going to be able to know exactly where the vast majority of the food I eat comes from!

I think my fiancé is a little bewildered by the extent of my enthusiasm, but between that and the fact that there is absolutely no fast food or crappy pizza/chinese delivery to be had anywhere in the village, I'm confident that we'll both be vastly healthier in the space of a year. Not to mention spoiled rotten...
 
2014-01-09 09:45:20 PM  
I'm moving to Colorado for adequate fresh herb.
 
2014-01-09 10:03:32 PM  
I use both and will never ever plant any kind of mint again!

/waiting on my St. John's Wort plant to get bigger
 
2014-01-09 10:11:10 PM  

Eutamias21: I always have parsley. It keeps for a long time in the fridge. Cilantro and basil I'd like to have but I can't keep them from rotting so fast.


I discovered a cilantro paste in the vegetable section of the store. Not as good as fresh but it keeps in the fridge for a lonnnnnng time and tastes pretty good.
 
2014-01-09 10:25:29 PM  
Any herbs I use often that are perrenial, I just grow them. Mints, dill, oregano, basil, lemon thyme, and rosemary. Other herbs I might buy fresh for special occasions, but for daily use of herbs I don't grow, I get freeze-dried.

Garlic is great, though, in that you can get jars of it minced.
 
2014-01-09 10:27:12 PM  

canavar: grow your own  and then you can make herb pastes and freeze them...have them on hand all year long


snip the herb, throw into a food processor with a little olive oil and puree it up.  scrape it into a zip lock AND LABEL IT---herbs tend to look all the same when you do this---then put it in the freezer.  fresh herbs all the time.


I do that in covered ice cube trays. A tablespoon of olive oil with an herb selection (such as an Italian or French mix) in each cube, freeze them, pop them out and then bag them. My garden grew giant basil, sage, and rosemary plants this year.
 
2014-01-09 10:27:14 PM  

Honest Bender: FYI, most herbs grow crazy fast. I'd be surprised if you could use all of, say, basil before more grew.


Yeah, I've had to prune my basil and dry it often because of that. Dill also grows retarded fast, I usually just trim it and give it to coworkers since dry dill has almost no flavor.
 
2014-01-09 10:28:47 PM  

LincolnLogolas: Garlic is great, though, in that you can get jars of it minced.


Convenient, but bitter and nasty, with a unique flavour all its own. Try a garlic press.
 
2014-01-09 10:31:21 PM  
I keep trying to grow fresh herbs all year, but I clearly have a black thumb when it comes to indoor growing. Nevertheless, I'll pick fresh over dried when I can and I'll keep trying to grow (they're so cheap to but potted that I'm willing to keep at it) them. Having said that, I keep good dried options on hand, usually ones that I dehydrate from my garden.
 
2014-01-09 10:41:28 PM  

Eutamias21: Cilantro and basil I'd like to have but I can't keep them from rotting so fast.


Cilantro is a must have fresh herb for me (the dry or frozen just will not work in Asian and Latin American food). I use it in nearly everything I make and it still occasionally rots on me. A good way to keep it longer is to immediately unband it when you get home and spread it out on a thin towel (paper towel works in a pinch). Since it usually comes soaking wet, let them dry out a bit. Then wrap them up in the same towel and stick it in the fridge. When it does start to rot, you can still blend up into salsa verde or Indian chutney.
 
2014-01-09 10:43:18 PM  

sboyle1020: ALWAYS have fresh basil.  The rest I can deal with dried.  If I'm planning a meal in advance I'll buy all fresh.


But how do you keep it alive in the winter when there's hardly any sunlight?
 
2014-01-09 10:43:27 PM  
All Penzey's, all the time.

http://www.penzeys.com/


/Unless the wife happens to grow something in summer.
//Yes, that was across the plate--leave it alone.
 
2014-01-09 11:24:36 PM  

Jekylman: eyeoftheaxis: Jekylman: tricycleracer: Basil is the easiest thing to grow.  It gets real sad looking and screams at you to water it days before it will actually croak.

Here in Southern California, cilantro and mint are the easiest things to grow. You can't get rid of mint and cilantro will sprout despite your best efforts.

Also in the garden:
sage
vast swaths of rosemary
chives/onions
marjoram
thyme
basil
rue
lemongrass
Also use lime tree leaves in an herb-like manner.

keep mint in pots or it will take over.
/the hard way.
//would you like some tea

Makes for a fantastic mint-chip ice cream.


Thanks, I'm going to try it. We did blend and freeze some into ice cubes to use in mint juleps.
 
2014-01-09 11:35:49 PM  
I'd grow my own, but it's not legal in this state.
 
2014-01-10 12:34:23 AM  

granolasteak: TheShavingofOccam123: Not so fast, Freshy Fresh Subby.

Dried parsley has its place. So does granulated onion. The fresh items of these two are too overpowering (I guess it can be blamed on oils and other liquids in them) for lots of recipes. Additionally, I think dried parsley tastes completely different than fresh parsley. No high notes like fresh, just a nice earthy layer underneath every other taste.

/I am worried about the amount of dried parsley and granulated onions I use and how often I use them.
/don't get me started on bay leaf

I make an old-school bread (baked in the oven in le creuset or similar pots) that uses TONS of granulated onion and a spicy spaghetti mixture of herbs.  It's fantabulous.  Try it with fresh herbs and you get....meh.

We get tons of sun in the summer, and grow some herbs then, but bulbs NEVER grow for me.  Onions, garlic, radishes...I never get anything.  Mint will take over my farking garden if I let it.  I grow it so the kids can eat it, but even with all the kids I have, they can't keep up.  ;)   Plus, that root ball mint makes takes up a ton of space and leaves my other stuff wanting.

You people grow saffron?  Seriously?  I want to know how you do this.


You have to plant garlic the season before in the fall. For any bulb you have to have rather loose soil. Onions need to be planted quite early in the season- the moment your soil is workable, plant them. Same with radishes. Also radish seeds are tiny - sow thickly and then thin out as the seedlings appear.
 
2014-01-10 12:37:06 AM  

voodoomedic: semi-threadjack, but also herb related: I have a Costco-sized bag of pine nuts...besides making ten years' worth of pesto, any ideas what else to do with it?


pine-nut brittle?
 
2014-01-10 12:52:04 AM  

Soulcatcher: Sass-O-Rev: I'm a herbicidal maniac and not to be trusted around any sort of potted or gardened plant; I can kill even the toughest. But my entire front/side yard is wild thyme, and it is the most wonderful smelling, beautiful ground cover you can imagine. And lovely to sprinkle into stews, etc.


Thyme is my favorite, hands down. If I had to pick only one herb to use for the rest of my life it would be thyme.


Martha Stewart has a recipe for lemon thyme wafers that are f*cking awesome: Link
 
2014-01-10 02:26:54 AM  
Living in Bahrain, most of the grocery stores keep a few staple herbs in fresh supply.  We try to keep a supply of fresh mint on hand so we don't have to pay extra for Lemon w/Mint (handfuls of pureed mint in a sugared lemonade mix with extra fresh lemon squeezed in with pulp).  I try to get fresh basil in once a month for pesto.  Jerjer(sic) is good for salad, mixed with rocket.
 
2014-01-10 08:32:48 AM  
A lot of herbs can be used as decorative plants outside your house and picked when needed. We have a huge bush of rosemary growing outside. That said, the dried stuff works just fine for a lot of recipes.
 
2014-01-10 01:02:27 PM  
I keep a huge herb garden, alot of it I can still pick fresh in winter.

But even fresh herbs from home dried yourself are 1000x's better tasting than store bought stuff.  I bet alot of that stuff is stored for a year before it even gets to store shelves.
 
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