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Jessica Joy

Knitwear designer, teacher and author

After years of using jars of dried herbs, and fight­ing for kitchen cup­board space, I decided my lit­tle bal­cony could do with a herb box. And a herb box it now has! Nur­tured and donated by my mum the wooden trough houses mint, sage, rose­mary, thyme, and a dense for­est of pars­ley.It came with a hand-written lug­gage tag of care instruc­tions, which boiled down to water and har­vest reg­u­larly. This, I could do, but could I eat it all while it was still fresh? Prob­a­bly not.Joy the Baker sug­gests mix­ing up herb but­ter, which can be refrig­er­ated for weeks and used on crusty breads… or burg­ers! A top tip I love, from The Gardener’s Eden, is freez­ing a few sprigs in olive oil for handy cubes that can be thrown in the pan when you’re cook­ing. And there’s always condi­ments; here’s a beau­ti­ful video from Kin­folk Mag­a­zine demon­strat­ing how to make pesto.Per­haps even try bundling them up to sell to your neigh­bours. If you’ve ever been to the Isles of Scilly, you’ll know it’s not unusual for the lit­tle island houses to have tables of pro­duce; veg­eta­bles, eggs, pre­serves or hand­made crafts at their front gate, along­side a dona­tions box. It’s so charm­ing! I won­der if my neigh­bours would take to it…

Do you have any tips or sug­ges­tions for pre­serv­ing fresh herbs?

10 comments
  1. michaela @ thegardenerseden.com 8 August 2012, 2:05 pm

    How sweet of you to share the tip for freez­ing herbs in olive oil cubes by link­ing the post. Your herb gar­den looks lovely; par­tic­u­larly inspi­ra­tional post for bal­cony grow­ers. Gar­dens every­where… That’s my motto! xo Michaela

    • Jess 8 August 2012, 2:28 pm

      Hi Michaela, thanks for com­ing to say hi — and for the great tip! It might be too ambi­tious for my lit­tle bal­cony but I want veg­gie boxes now. A girl can dream… :)

  2. Sophie 8 August 2012, 3:16 pm

    Ooh, great post! I really want a herb gar­den on my win­dowsill in old & vin­tage tea can­is­ters… for­give the cliche ;)

    Not sure I can make it work in the house I’m in cur­rently, but when I live in a huge house on Vin­ery Road with a mas­sive farm­house kitchen I will have my mini herb garden! :))

    Sophie

    • Jess 10 August 2012, 12:26 pm

      Not cliched at all, just a very good idea! :)

  3. Mira 10 August 2012, 11:47 am

    You could maybe just dry some of the herbs and use them for cook­ing dur­ing the win­ter? Also, I remem­ber my par­ents used to do the herb but­ter many years ago but instead of keep­ing it in the refridger­a­tor they froze it so it stays good even longer! If you freeze it in small por­tions you can take them one by one to the refridger­a­tor and use it :)

    • Jess 10 August 2012, 12:34 pm

      Oo I hadn’t thought of dry­ing them, thanks Mira. And great tip on freez­ing the but­ter. Per­haps there’s a way to por­tion it into ice cube trays, like the olive oil? That might make it more man­age­able in a smaller freezer. :)

  4. Alice 7 September 2012, 9:27 am

    Yo sis, best thing to do is cut them, tie them in bun­dles and hang them upside down in a dry place. If you brought them to Welly we could hand them in the bunny room — ? The herb but­ter post is excel­lent, they do that in all the restau­rants I’ve worked in — galic next year?! A xx

    • Jess 7 September 2012, 9:53 am

      Truth­fully Als, my lit­tle herb box is not so boun­ti­ful any­more. The lit­tle things got scorched a few weeks ago in the heat and are mear morsels of their for­mer selves. Gar­lic would be great, and I want to try chill­ies too!xx

  5. Muma 22 January 2014, 5:51 pm

    Hi! I know this is a lit­tle late to respond to this post, but it occurred to me that you can restart your herb gar­den again as soon as you like with garlic…I had great suc­cess just plung­ing any old clove of gar­lic which had begun to shoot green bits into the earth out­side the back door last year…eh voila as they say!!
    Happy gar­den­ing xxxxxx

    • Jess 23 January 2014, 11:35 am

      Ooo I’m gonna try that! Thanks, Muma :) xxx

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