Archives for: November 2014
Yesterday, Hannah and I finally got some yard work done outside. She did a lot of weeding and bush trimming while I kept her company and helped with the bagging.
While we were out there, we realized that most of the mint growing in the front bed is already “past its prime.” Some of the plants in front were mostly dead sticks, with a few scraggly leaves left at the top. A few weeks ago, they were full of big, bright green leaves. Still, the plants in back looked very healthy, and there were still some leaves to be harvested from the scraggly stalks.
First she cut down the dying stalks and I salvaged what leaves I could from them. It was still enough to fill a 1 gallon food storage bag. If we’d done these weeks ago, I think we would have gotten 5 or 10 times as many leaves. After trimming away the ugly leaves in front, we realized it was probably wise to harvest the smaller plants in back too. They’re smaller, but shiny and green, and likely to die soon if it gets too cold at night. So we harvested all of those too, and got enough leaves to fill another bag.
I think that we would have gotten 1 or 2 bags of mint leaves in early November even if we had remembered to harvest the front plants in September. Most of the growth in the back plants happened after the front plants died off, providing more sunlight in the back. They might have grown even more than they did, had we cut the plants down a few weeks earlier than they thinned on their own.
All told, we've had a horribly stressful autumn and we still managed to get 2 gallons of fresh mint leaves. Last year we only harvested a few leaves, mostly for immediate use. I still have a windfall of fresh herbs I’m not quite sure what to do with.
I’d welcome any ideas anyone has for using these leaves up and for preserving them for later use.