When I think about “prepping,” I think back to how my grandparents lived their lives – they prepared for lean times during times of plenty, and they thought ahead and prepared to meet their own needs. One way they did that was to plant the herbs they’d need to can with the year before they needed the herbs, and to choose plants that provided multiple uses, such as spicing, health benefits, preserving, and nutrition.
Fresh vs. Dried Herbs in Canning
Fresh herbs are so tasty, and can be great to use in your cooking, but sometimes you need dried herbs for canning, especially if your herbs are not yet ready to harvest when you need them for a canning project.
Herb Garden Staples
Here are the herbs I always keep in my garden, each is useful in many ways – multitasking is a key to being prepared!
- Dill: There’s nothing quite like the taste of dill – it always reminds me of summertime meals! When I was a kid, we’d always eat pickled cucumbers with our meals, and both of my grandmothers used fresh dill when it was available, and also dried copious amounts of it. Dill also has many health benefits, so don’t forget to keep some around for herbal remedies as well!
- Mint: There are other varieties of mint besides peppermint and spearmint (like chocolate mint, yum!) but these are two old favorites used in my grandparent’s days. Use mint fresh, or hang the branches up to dry for later use. You can use dried mint in leaf form, or crush it up into a powder. You can also store mint for future use by freezing it in water in ice cube trays in the freezer. Mint’s also got some great health benefits, so don’t spare that mint sun tea!
- Sage: Sage has always had a place in my family’s garden, and on our herb shelf for remedies and seasoning. Sage’s slightly peppery taste was always required when making chicken, stuffing or sausage – fresh sage leaves or dried leaves are useful in many dishes, so much so that a few plants have always been growing happily in my family’s garden.
Keep reading for more great herbs to plant in your garden!