I like my garden to look full, not perfect, and always well-manicured.  You could say I'm a very laid-back gardener and in the summer I let things go a bit and it's nice to just enjoy it.  The oregano is beautiful right now and it's getting really thick.  I'll hang out on the patio sofa with a cold drink and just look around the garden and see how things are doing.  I find having a garden is very therapeutic because when I'm digging in the garden I'm just looking at what's in front of me and not thinking about anything else.  

btw the mint is especially refreshing in a summer drink OR tea.

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One of the routines I started to do is to preserve the oregano from our garden. Having the ability to mosey to the patio and clip my own herbs, vegetables and flowers is a dream come true.  Last spring I purchased a small oregano plant from the produce section at the grocery store and set it in the garden to grow.

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Drying Oregano

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The simplest method for drying oregano is to hang dry it. I know there are several other methods out there but for me, this is the best. 

Hang to Dry

Using twine I simply tie a few pieces of oregano together in a bunch at the stem. Then I hang the bundles on a hook in a warm place inside that gets some direct sunlight. I wait about 3-6 weeks for the oregano to dry before taking the bundles down and getting them ready to store in containers.
 
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Removing the Leaves

I slide my hand down the stems emptying the leaves into a bowl.  This part can get a bit messy but I don't mind because the aroma is wonderful. 

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Storing

Then I crumble the leaves so the dried oregano can be stored in jars.

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During this time of year, I cook with fresh herbs.  I'll clip a bunch and display them on the kitchen counter for easy access.  In the Winter, when I can't grow my own I'll use the dry oregano that I currently dried and stored.  I used my DYMO hand-held label maker to create the label on the mason jar. 

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I have a collection of mason jars and store-bought herb jars that I like to refill.  You can buy your own herb jars to create your own herb display. Remember to keep them in a dark corner of the kitchen or in a cabinet or drawer to preserve their freshness. 

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Before I had a garden I used my kitchen windowsill. A kitchen windowsill is enough to have a mini herb collection.  You can buy oregano, basil, parsley, or sage already potted and keep them for cooking.  A window box or a DIY vertical planter are other small-scale options that are simple and inexpensive.  Below are some of my DIY planter ideas that are easy to make.


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xx,

Julie