Good friend and Lubbock A-J reader, Carol D., of Lubbock commented just lately that her herbs have been rising so properly she puzzled what to do with them. (A few of Carol’s herbs are within the accompanying picture.) An over-abundance of herbs is a bonanza. Preserving them at their peak taste means none will go to waste and there will probably be loads of flavorful home-grown herbs this winter.
Herbs are valued for his or her unstable natural compounds (VOCs). The problem is to maintain these fantastic fragrant compounds — the very purpose we develop herbs. Every herb has a singular natural fragrant compound profile.
Natural compounds are unstable and simply misplaced, which implies herbs needs to be harvested within the morning to protect the VOCs. With our excessive mild depth and warmth vegetation start transpiring and dropping water early. As vegetation heat, transpiration will increase and natural aromatics, oils and different compounds volatize, changing into gaseous and are misplaced to the ambiance.
Plant elements with the very best concentrations of unstable oils and secondary metabolites are the leafy tops which have shifted to the flowering stage. Optimum harvest stage is simply earlier than flower bud opening.
The gardener’s activity is to reap and protect herbs with most ranges of VOCs, earlier than they’re volatized and misplaced. Drying herbs is the optimum method to save them. Plus, dried herbs are sometimes stronger since moisture has been eliminated, rising the focus of natural fragrant compounds.
Some advocate preserving with a dehydrator, however warmth destroys the precious aromatics which are so shortly volatized. Herbs dried on this method could have much less taste.
To dry, harvest stems at peak taste (above), wash gently underneath cool working water. Lay stems on newspaper in a single layer in a darkish space with out warmth to retain as many VOCs as potential. When dry flip the wrong way up, bunch a number of stems collectively and tie with raffia ribbon. Grasp the wrong way up. When absolutely dry, strip leaves from stem and retailer in glass jars.
Widespread, simply dried herbs and a few VOCs:
• Basil. Eugenol, pale yellow important oil; an anti-inflammatory; limonene, a lemon-orange perfume utilized in soaps and cosmetics.
• Lavender. Camphor, wax or important oil utilized in fragrances, decongestant exercise.
• Marjoram. Sabinene, important oil reported to profit pores and skin issues resembling fungus.
• Mint. Menthol, used to deal with digestive points.
• Oregano. Carvacrol, important oil treating pimples, arthritis, frequent chilly and flu, pores and skin rashes.
• Parsley. Apiol, myristicin, petroseline, oleic, linoleic, palmatic, different fatty acids; diuretic, advantages abdomen issues, a carminative lowering flatulence.
• Rosemary. Pinene important oil. Aids in bronchial exercise, promotes alertness.
• Tarragon. Estragole, important oil utilized in fragrances.
• Thyme. Thymol, eugenol, carvacrol, pinene have potent antioxidant exercise.
Be aware: Some info from sciencedirect.com; essentialoils.co.za
Ellen Peffley taught horticulture on the school degree for 28 years, 25 of these at Texas Tech, throughout which era she developed two onion varieties. She is now the only real proprietor of From the Backyard, a market backyard farmette. You may electronic mail her at email@example.com