Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Freezing herbs and a garden tally

One of the many things I've learned this summer with my new 6 foot by 14 foot "Monsanto sucks, Michelle Obama rocks" organic veggie garden is that I have a super green thumb. I've always known I had a green thumb but I never realized just how green it was. OK, some of the credit must go to the new top soil, fish emulsion and copious amounts of rain that are keeping my rain barrels overflowing. But I'd like to think I deserve at least some of the credit, my dirty finger nails are proof of my labor.

As an afterthought, I sprinkled cilantro seeds along the edge of the bed just along the wood. Who knew it would have done so well that I would have to freeze some to keep up with the growth! I've seen little squares of frozen cilantro and basil for sale at Trader Joe's so I figured it would be easy to do, and it is.

Step 1: pick your cilantro (or other herb), chop into very small pieces:

Step 2: Squish into an ice tray and freeze:

Step 3: pop out of the ice tray and store any way you like:

Super easy and now I can enjoy cilantro all winter long. I did the same thing with basil a few days later. Now if only the tomatoes would ripen I can eat salsa and caprese salad.....

Garden tally so far:
  • blueberries: 42
  • strawberries: 35
  • salads: 3 large
  • zucchini: 8
  • cilantro: 5 large bunches
  • green beans: 234 (2.7 pounds)
  • carrots: 51
  • basil: more than I can count!


  1. I am sooo envious - I have some weedy tomatoes but we'll never get enough sun to ripen them. I've never succeeded with cilantro here.

    Back in France everything just grew and grew and grew

  2. Kudos to you on your garden and harvest. What a clever idea for freezing herbs. Reading this makes me wish I had a garden this year. Next year for certain. I am mooching tomatoes off of my mom this year. LOL.

  3. That is an excellent idea for freezing herbs. You should take total credit for your garden. Aren't you the one that planted it and applied the top soil and fish emulsion? All except for the rain - You did it!!! Michelle Obama would be proud. Great Job Kate.

  4. All I seem to be able to raise (of course I don't have a garden) are copious numbers of birds, which I feed and they just keep multiplying. Goldfinch fledglings are everywhere!! I love your garden, Kate, and if I had one, I'd definitely do that with basil (not being a fan of cilantro).

  5. This is a very good thing to know since cilantro does go bad very quickly in the fridge.

    Will now be freezing chunks to use.

    Green, leafy Moo!

  6. I saw lots of fresh cilantro at the farmers' market last weekend and I love cilantro. I didn't know you could freeze herbs like that, wonderful idea.

    With you this information and your garden tally this would be a great post for the challenge.

    I was doing some reading on the Praying Mantis last night and it seems they are cannibals. I have read this before but forgot about it. I hope you have a different variety of mantid.


  7. What a great idea! My goal, over the last few years, has been to plant enough herbs in my little patio garden to end up with more than I can use so that I could dry some. This year is the year ... but I like this idea better ... freezing them must retain that freshly picked flavor. Fabulous!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Small Footprints

  8. My goodness! If you envy me with my rich marine life now I felt more envious with your green thumb, I don't know what's wrong with me. Maybe when heaven poured green thumbs on earth I was caught sleeping hahaha.

    I love cilantro but sometimes it's very expensive here. Now I know what to do with cilantro, thanks for the information.


  9. Like AL, I must have been sleeping when green thumbs were passed out. However, I believe that you can overcome any challenge with determination and reading everything you can get your hands on about a particular subject. I shall not be defeated by a plant!

    My first garden is not what you would call a success. Got some zucchini off one plant - one out of 4 isn't bad; 10 cherry tomatoes - one out of five plants; at least 10 cantaloupes off 4 plants; none off the eggplant...yet; and 10's of gourds to be harvested. I have some parsley that I will freeze according to your directions. Cilantro is planted in the fall in my part of the country. So, when (?) I have an excess, I will freeze. :D

    Thanks for the info.

  10. Lulu: I hope your tomatoes ripen! mine are still green too.

    Lisa: definitely squeeze in a garden next yesr, so much fun!

    Rae: yes I did do it! thanks Rae!

    DJan: I love that you have so many birds, I plant as many natives as I can so the birds come to my garden, but seems like you get way more than I do!

    Cow: cilantro does seem to go bad so quickly, good luck with freezing it!

    SQ: i stock up at the farmers market too. I'm planning on buying out an entire farmer's supply of tomatoes once I see them and fill the chest freezer with sauce! great idea if you can't grow your own produce. I think my mantids are cannibals too, still haven't seen one..they're in there somewhere!

    Small: I do find that freezing (if you seal the bags tight enough) locks in more flavor. good luck!

    AL: good luck finding affordable herbs. you get all those strawberries though! lucky you!

    Lynn: you have done very well with your first garden, you sell yourself short! :) and you're so lucky to have TWO growing seasons down there, we just have the one.

    thanks for reading everyone, happy herb freezing! -kate

  11. Woohoo! I love having a victory garden against corporate agriculture! Does freezing retain the color of the herbs?

  12. visiting from SF place! :)

    what a great idea! and I love cilantro - and basil -!

  13. eemilla: I never thought about my garden as a victory garden against corporate agriculture. I LOVE it! :) Freezing seems to retain color better than drying, or so it seems.

    Kathryn: I hope you get to enjoy your herbs in the winter too!

    thanks for visiting! -kate

  14. I really miss not having a garden this year.

  15. matthew, I can't imagine it would be easy to have a veggie garden on a sailboat...perhaps those upside down tomato planters everyone has now. you could hang them from the rigging!


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