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Drying Oregano (or Marjoram)

May 3, 2009
Oregano or Marjoram?

Oregano or Marjoram?

A couple of years ago I planted oregano and marjoram next to each other and either didn’t label them or the labels have long disappeared, so now I don’t know if this bushy, spreading herb is oregano or marjoram.  No matter, really.  I use it as I would use oregano.

The spring growth has really been phenomenal on this group of plants, so I cut some to dry.  We were also down to our last couple tablespoons of the jars I dried last fall, so that was also a motivating factor.

Vibrant oregano

Vibrant oregano

When I first started cutting it I thought I would get a few cups out of it, before I needed to stop trimming.  I kept cutting and cutting and it didn’t seem to be making much of a dent in the growth.  I ended up cutting enough to fill an entire large colander (about 15″ in diamter).  I thought that would be a good stopping point.

After the trim

After the trim

Now, I just need to get it in the dehydrator before too long.  I’m disappointed that my tarragon plants died over the winter.   I blame our unusual several weeks of snow and very cold temperatures.  Now I will have to replace them, because I love fresh tarragon, especially in potato salads and it goes very well with chicken.  I don’t have enough thyme to dry either.  I planted several new thyme plants under my rosebushes, so maybe by the fall I will have enough to harvest.  Last fall my friend Sheila gave me a small jar of coriander from seeds that they had grown and powdered.  The flavor was outstanding.  I will have to do some of my own this year, because cilantro bolts so quickly that I might as well use as much of the plant as I can.

What are some dried herbs or spices that you can’t live without and grow for your own consumption or would like to grow yourself and that are suitable for your climate?  I use a lot of fresh ginger, but I think our climate isn’t friendly to ginger, so I couldn’t put it on a list of something I’d actually be able to grow.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2009 12:32 pm

    I’m in the same boat with marjoram and oregano. Completely have forgotten which is which! I do know one of them is a golden marjoram, and upon looking closely at that, it seems like there is more stem space between leaves on marjoram than in oregano. So I’m *thinking* that the oregano is the one with less stem showing between leaves. You’d think they would have a unique smell, but I can’t tell the difference!!

    I’m thinking of taking it all out and buying a couple new plants and giving them proper labels…

  2. May 7, 2009 4:06 pm

    Dayna-I’m glad I’m not the only one! I think I’ll just keep mine in the ground and use it as I have been. It’s good enough for me. 🙂

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