How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Anything to do with growing herbs and vegetables goes here.
Post Reply
User avatar
bonniethomas06
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1246
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:24 am
Location: Wiltshire, UK

How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210336Post bonniethomas06 »

Hi all,
As I flung mint into a yoghurt dressing and chopped basil and fennel into an omlette last night, it dawned upon me how much I have loved having fresh herbs to cook with over the summer, and how I rely on them to transform simple meals into something really tasty.

I cannot bear the thought of fiddling around with the grey shavings in those horrid little jars all winter and there is such a world of difference between fresh and dried anyway.

So how do you keep yourself in fresh herbs over the winter? We have a polytunnel, which I am planning to sow up with winter leuttice etc once the tomatoes have gone. Can I keep the flat leaf parsley going all winter in this? (I currently have a clump which hasn't bolted) What about mint and fennel, do you think they would do me for winter with a late sowing? (or in case of mint, cutting/division)

Basil and corriander have as usual, eluded me this year, but I am determined to nail it next year!

(I also have thyme and rosemary, but presume these will be OK outside over winter).

Thanks for any advice.
"A pretty face is fine, but what a farmer needs is a woman who can carry a pig under each arm"

My blog...

http://www.theparttimesmallholder.blogspot.com

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210337Post oldjerry »

Curled leaf parsley overwinters well for me,so flat leaved should do ok in the tunnel.Mint too,Thyme and rosemary ok outside but it might be worth protecting a small plant of each say in a pot in your tunnel,as much as anything else to keep them cleaner,here winter rain means they get a bit dirty , manky and unappetising.

grahamhobbs
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1212
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: London

Re: How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210340Post grahamhobbs »

Flat leaved parsley loves it in the polytunnel over winter, basil won't. The others rosemary, thyme, I find are fine outside. Sage usuually survives here in London, but younger plants could do with some protection.
I've grown chervil for the first time this year - will this survive outside?
Basil I find extremely easy to grow from seed, started off in modules and then planted out in the polytunnel under the tomatoes. We are going to try freezing pesto this year.
Coriander as with many nice things in life should be 'little and often'. The OH loves it but I find sowing it every couple of weeks just too much trouble only to see it bolt just as it is ready to pick. Anyone know what's the latest you can sow it in a polytunnel? I would imagine sowing it in September would be good because it may not run to seed that quickly, but is it too late now?

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210342Post oldjerry »

FREEZE PESTO????? Che Bruta Figura !!!!!! Nah, seal it in jars,topped with olive oil should keep thru winter if you sterilize jars right,then leave in fridge.( and you probably do anyway,but toast the pinenuts first) Lovely. OJ.

grahamhobbs
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1212
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: London

Re: How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210345Post grahamhobbs »

Oldjerry thanks we'd prefer to just keep it in the fridge, but our fridge is not big enough to take that many jars (amoungst all the other stuff). We're told it freezes fine, so we are having to try that. We are advised not to put the cheese in (add that when you come to use it), and to try to extract as much air out of the freezer bag to prevent discolouration through oxidation. Or do you think the flavour of frozen pesto is that bad??

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210369Post oldjerry »

Listen, I could well be wrong.Please let me know wether it works, I'll be the first to put my hand up,and it'd save a lot of room in our fridge too.Might have been an idea to try it in June however,then if it dont work......... Good Luck. OJ

User avatar
Thomzo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4307
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Swindon, South West England

Re: How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210396Post Thomzo »

Parsley and basil grow on my kitchen windowsill. The basil isn't brilliant but just enough for topping some pasta. Give them both a regular trim to stop them getting leggy and water daily. Chives get chopped up and frozen, mint too. I often make up a sort of onion/garlic/herb chutney which then gets used in cooking. Rosemary and bay last the winter. This year I have some lemon verbena which I've just brought into the conservatory. Not sure what to use it for though and I don't know whether the chamomile will last outside. I might have to try freezing that as well.

Zoe
Think globally, shop locally
Check out my blog at http://designedbyzoe.blogspot.com/
http://www.thomzo.co.uk

User avatar
Millymollymandy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 17637
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 6:09 am
Location: Brittany, France

Re: How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210406Post Millymollymandy »

I have pesto in the freezer and it is exactly the same defrosted as it was before it went in. It doesn't taste very nice (rather strong and bitter) cos it doesn't have any pine nuts in (too expensive) so I mostly just add it to tomato sauces for flavour - I freeze it in very small plastic tubs that cream cheese came in. I haven't added any cheese to it.

I have about 30 basil plants indoors - don't grow it outside as the leaves get much too tough to be edible but I have repotted about 10 of them to keep as they get potbound very quickly and the lower leaves yellow even though I keep feeding them. Ditto holy basil - still have some of last year's plants going so we always have both kinds of fresh basil for use all year round.

Parsley I have just done the chop and put in ice cube trays with a bit of water, then pop them out into a little freezer bag so we can add one to soups/stews etc as needed. It's the first time I've been on the ball enough to do this as mine turns to mush as soon as we have a heavy frost.

Coriander - get the seeds in now in the open ground - not sure when in the polytunnel. Probably best now and if October should suddenly turn fine then sow some more! It's hit and miss as to the last sowing time for coriander!

Mint I usually put one or two of my plants (which are in pots) in the coldframe, they won't be pickable in winter but will come to life earlier in the spring. I don't equate winter cooking with mint anyway so I don't care!

Rosemary and bay are fine outside and pickable as and when although thyme goes very woody and tough from the cold so I don't use that. I prefer dried herbs of things like oregano and thyme anyway to fresh. :iconbiggrin:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Gem
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 240
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:37 pm
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: How to keep yourself supplied with herbs over winter?

Post: # 210478Post Gem »

I freeze my home made rocket pesto in icecube trays. Ideal portion size and comes out as tastey as it went in. I have kept it in jars with a layer of oil as well and it just doesn't last as long.

Gem

Post Reply