Dried Oregano

Home Grown & Dried Oregano | Oysters & Pearls

I have been cutting back an unruly oregano plant in my herb garden for a year now.  It puts roots down everywhere it touches, and it grows more like a weed than anything else.  It’s beautiful though, and the bees love the flowers, so I can’t be mad.  I just keep cutting it back so it doesn’t take over the patio by way of smothering the entire herb garden.  However, a couple of weeks ago I was cutting it back yet again, and the idea hit me almost as hard as the aroma of fresh oregano: why don’t I dry my own oregano instead of using {insert cheap brand of store-bought oregano here}?  Fun drinking game: take a sip every time I say the word “oregano.” Ready, Go!

On Growing Oregano | Oysters & Pearls

To give you an idea of what I’m working with… This started as a VERY small oregano plant from Native Nurseries in Tallahassee.  It was in a pot with TWO other herbs (rosemary and lemon verbena).  Well, it suffocating the lemon verbena, and I took the rosemary out before the oregano claimed another victim.  That’s a stray zinnia to the back right of the oregano.  We had a monsoon after we planted everything else from seed in the herb garden, so my carefully planted layout got artfully rearranged by the flood.  That’s remnant rainbow chard to the left of the oregano that is still kicking from winter.

Flowering Oregano | Oysters & Pearls

The flowering is pretty intense on this big guy, but I don’t even worry about it, because there’s plenty for the bees, butterflies, and for me.

Tips for Growing Oregano | Oysters & Pearls

In case you wanted a close-up of the leaves, here ya go.  Doesn’t look like the stuff that comes out of the bottle with the red top, does it?

Essentially, I just cut long stalks like this off at the ground, bunched them up, with the cut sides all even, and tied them up with kitchen twine.  I also failed to take a picture of this step.  Helpful, I know.  However, there’s nothing to it.  Just tie them up and hang them in a dry room in your house.  I hung my bunches in the laundry room, where the dryer keeps everything nice and toasty.  After two weeks, everything will be sufficiently dried!

Growing & Drying Oregano | Oysters & Pearls

On the left are the dried stems of oregano.  On the right are the leftovers.  Hold a stem by the cut end with one hand, and loosely pinch your other hand’s fingertips around the stem.  Run your fingers down the stem to strip all the leaves off into a bowl and discard the stems.  I’m storing my oregano in a small mason jar, but whatever blows your skirt up will work.

We had a salad topped with oregano the night I did this, and we have had it on every salad since! It is SO much more flavorful than the store-bought stuff.  If you’re already growing (and probably cutting back) your own oregano, I cannot recommend drying it enough!  Plus, it’s way prettier, and you totes get Martha Stewart-esque street cred.

Snapped this picture of Wallace while I was snapping pics of the oregano outside.  What a cutie!  So glad we brought that kitten home.

Wallace at Six Weeks | Oysters & Pearls

And on a totally unrelated note… we have CUKES!!! Teeny, tiny, adorable cucumbers.  Yay for victory gardens!

Itty Bitty Cucumber | Oysters & Pearls

Hoping this bodes well for the rest of our garden!  We are a little behind since we started from seed, so we were really excited about this major development in the backyard.

Happy Friday, y’all!

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  1. Pingback: Whole30, 10 Days In - Oysters and Pearls

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