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Harvesting Herbs for Tea

October 15th, 2009

This week I’ve been out harvesting a lot of my herbs for warming winter teas. I should harvest them all summer long, but I get busy and always forget to do it until winter threatens. I carry a big bowl around with me and snip the fresh herbs. I keep them all separate in small paper bags that I’ve saved.
I think I picked about 2 pounds of herbs for tea this winter as well as a few savory herbs for seasoning (I also like savory tea on occasion) and some medicinal herbs.

What herbs made it into my harvest bowl?
-Blue Stocking Bergamot
-Anise Hyssop
-Mountain Mint
-Lemon Balm
-Greek Oregano
-Fennel Seed
-Genovese Basil
-Broad Leafed Plantain

I was even able to harvest a small handful of chamomile. I had one volunteer plant that I harvested a good amount of blossoms from earlier in the summer. These few flowers are from a plant I started later in the summer. For some reason I didn’t have much luck with my chamomile this year, since I love chamomile tea I hope I have a better harvest next year!
I also have a few potted herbs that I bring in as houseplants, these include: rosemary, lemon thyme, lemon verbena and chives. All of these we will enjoy fresh all winter long.

Do you dry herbs for seasoning & tea?

24 Comments to “Harvesting Herbs for Tea”
  1. vrtlaricaana on October 15, 2009 at 5:46 am

    What a lovely set of different herbs!
    .-= vrtlaricaana´s last blog ..Pickled green tomatoes =-.

    Reply to vrtlaricaana's comment

  2. Heather on October 15, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Yum. I dried quite a bit of spearmint and peppermint this summer along with basil and oregano. Some will be for teas and some for cooking. Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.
    .-= Heather ´s last blog ..How low can you go? =-.

    Reply to Heather's comment

  3. Jaspenelle on October 15, 2009 at 8:59 am

    In previous places I have lived I have harvested herbs for tea, especially when I lived in Spain. My mother and I had a huge herb garden with over 100 kinds of herbs (because everyone needs 13 kinds of thyme… lol.)

    This year was my first year with an herb garden in this house (and climate for that matter – Spokane, WA is very different then Barcelona, Spain!) My herbs were pretty neglected, I even managed to kill mint… Only my oregano, chives and feverfew survived so that was all that was harvested. Oh well, maybe next year…

    Your herbal harvest looks beautiful!
    .-= Jaspenelle´s last blog ..Rainy Day =-.

    Reply to Jaspenelle's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2009 at 9:21 am

      I have 8 different kinds thyme growing in my gardens and I’m hoping to get a few more!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Amy on October 15, 2009 at 9:16 am

    How nice!

    Reply to Amy's comment

  5. Mike on October 15, 2009 at 9:47 am

    What a great selection of herbs, I love the little bags you put them in. Eight types of thyme, wow… I think we have three.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Growing and Putting Up Celery and Celeriac =-.

    Reply to Mike's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2009 at 12:16 pm

      They’re compostable coffee bags, I save them and use them for gardening tasks and sometimes to collect compost in the kitchen. I’d love to buy a few more kinds of thyme, I always read through all the ones offered by Richter’s Herbs.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Teresa O on October 15, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Wonderful list of herbs for tea. I brought in rosemary, lemon thyme, plain old garden thyme, creeping thyme, and oregano. I took cuttings from the pineapple sage that’s too big to winter over, but the smell and flavor in tea is irresistable, so hopefully the cuttings will take root in a couple weeks and I’ll be on my way to pineapple sage indoors. Lemon verbena is on the list for next spring. Mmm…I can’t wait.

    Like Jaspanelle, I had a huge herb garden at one time. After a move, I only grow herbs in containers…but just for now.
    .-= Teresa O´s last blog ..Change of Climate Gardening: Blog Action Day =-.

    Reply to Teresa O's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      I’d love to try pineapple sage, I’ll add that to my list of new herbs for next year. Each year I try to add a few herbs to my gardens. This year it was: bergamot, peppermint, mountain mint, lemon verbena, hyssop, Pink Sunday Sage and lavender. Next year I hope to add orange thyme and perhaps a few other kinds of thyme and maybe get around to starting my seeds for soapwort and feverfew. I’d love to add some more beebalms as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Daphne on October 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    For tea I grow chamomile and three different kinds of peppermint (chocolate mint, orange mint and candy mint). I also grow a lot of my kitchen herbs and dry them for the winter. I’ll probably forget some:
    dill weed and dill seed
    Greek oregano
    thyme (I have five, but only dry two types – English and French)

    I have other herbs that never make it into the dehydrator. I keep wishing my tarragon would do better so I would have enough to dry, but it just hasn’t happened.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..Garden Bloggers Bloom Day October 2009 =-.

    Reply to Daphne's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2009 at 4:01 pm

      I didn’t end up growing any sage this year, although I love it. I may try to start some from seed here pretty soon and grow it in a window.

      I harvest fennel from my mom’s house, as well as a few other herbs like marshmallow and old-fashioned comfrey.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Dave on October 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I haven’t tried drying any herbs for tea but I’ve been very tempted. The herbs are so easy to grow it seems a shame not to harvest them more. The mints especially, I’m a big fan of them!
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..October Blooms in Tennessee =-.

    Reply to Dave's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm

      So true, and mint makes a wonderful tea by itself, you can’t get much easier than that!

      You can also save a good deal of money if you grow your own organic herbs and mix your own teas. They’re very healthy to add to your diet, they can help relieve symptoms of various illnesses and increase over all health. I’ve been trying to incorporate more herbs and spices into my diet and teas a great way to do this.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Pampered Mom on October 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I dry herbs for both seasoning and medicinal purposes. I typically use my drying rack, but depending on the plant material will pull out my dehydrator.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Pictures =-.

    Reply to Pampered Mom's comment

  10. MAYBELLINE on October 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    No. I don’t dry my herb. I just use them fresh.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Weedpatch =-.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  11. Marcia on October 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I grow Basil but I make into pesto to feed my pesto addiction. None leftover for drying :( I can only grow one plant since I live in very small appartment with no balcony. My only windowsill is monopolised by my Aloe Vera which seems to want to take over my appartment and then the world.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2009 at 4:50 pm

      I need to get an aloe vera plant for my kitchen.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Marcia on October 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm

        I would gladly give you part of mine but I think it would die in the Alberta-Ohio trip.

        to Marcia's comment

  12. Kimberly on October 16, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I do!!! I’ve dried lemon balm & mint for teas this winter. I also dug up my lemon balm & rosemary and have them on the counter in the kitchen. I’ve dried thyme, celery, savory, dill, parsley, chives and cilantro for cooking. Yum! Savory is my all-time favorite and it goes in everything.

    Reply to Kimberly's comment

    • Freda on April 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

      I was waiting for someone to mention CILANTRO! It is a must for my Mexican Food recipes!

      Reply to Freda's comment

  13. Sustainable Eats on February 21, 2010 at 1:45 am

    I can’t believe the chammomile didn’t like your garden! I’m weeding a chammomile lawn this spring. It’s take over everything! You should try again this summer.
    .-= Sustainable Eats´s last blog ..Buying Bulk Meat – What you Need to Know =-.

    Reply to Sustainable Eats's comment

    • Susy on February 21, 2010 at 10:32 am

      I will be growing it again. I had trouble first year with the rabbits eating it all. This past year the seeds didn’t germinate well, not sure why. I only had 2 plants survive. Since we love chamomile tea, I’m hoping to get a lot going this summer.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Time to Stock the Herb Pantry | Chiot's Run on June 2, 2010 at 4:48 am

    […] contain more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. Last year I waiting until late in the fall to harvest my herbs, but it’s really something that you should be doing all summer long. Herbs are at their peak of […]

    Reply to Time to Stock the Herb Pantry | Chiot’s Run's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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