Perhaps the biggest perk of partnering with Copiana is the monthly harvest of your farm. Watching your greens and herbs mature in their towers and then being able to taste how nutrient-rich and fresh they are just off the plant. In abundant harvests though, you may be stumped on how to use all these fresh veggies.
If you find yourself with more harvest goodies than you know what to do with (one of our favorite problems to solve), check out a few of our tips on how to use your Copiana harvest.
Dry the herbs
If you have a hard time using your bundle of herbs before they wilt, consider drying what you won’t use within the week. You’ll cut down on food waste, and your dried Copiana herbs will still pack more flavor than their store-bought counterparts.
How to dry herbs
Drying your herbs is the simplest way to extend their shelf life. The traditional herbalist method of air drying by hanging bunches of herbs upside down in a dark, dry environment works very well if you don’t need dried herbs immediately (the air drying process takes about a week).
- Hanging the herbs works best for herbs that have bigger leaves and thinner stems, such as basil, cilantro, and sage. Leave the rockwool on and tie the stems together.
- For smaller-leaved plants like thyme and dill, the leaves need to be removed from the stem to dry properly, since the thicker stems can hold on to water and encourage rot. Air drying on a tray works better for this class of herbs.
If you don’t want to wait around for your herbs to dry, you can use a more modern device of your choosing: microwave, oven, or dehydrator. Regardless, put your magic heat device on its lowest setting and keep an eye on your leaves (try a minute in the microwave, half an hour in the oven, and two hours in a home dehydrator).
Once the herbs are dry and crumbly, crush them by hand or give them a quick pulse in a food processor. Store your herbs in an airtight container-old glass spice jars work especially well. You’ll want to label your herbs, since bits of dried green leaf all tend to look pretty similar.
How to keep herbs fresh longer
For the bunch or so that you do want to use fresh, what’s the proper way to store fresh herbs? Some herbs, like basil, do best at room temperature, but most will have the longest life when stored in your crisper drawer. Remove the rockwool from the roots of the herbs. Wrap the stems of your bundle in a damp paper towel and place it in an airtight container in the crisper.
You can keep your basil in a glass of water on the counter loosely covered with a plastic bag, which limits oxygen exposure and keeps the level of humidity ideal. Just be sure to change out the water every 3-4 days. You can also freeze fresh, chopped herbs by putting them in an ice cube tray and covering them with olive oil. When you need fresh herbs, simply pop out the cube and let it melt in a pan or pot!
Repot at home
The best way to extend the life of your harvest haul is by repotting it at home. It doesn’t take much space to start an at-home garden-it’s even possible in an apartment! All you need is a bit of sunlight, soil, and water for a luscious mini-garden of fresh produce right in your home.
How to repot your Copiana harvest
We make repotting our smaller herbs easy on you by sending you home with the full plant, including the roots. It can be much more stressful on a plant to start new roots from a cutting, so you’re likely to get good results with an existing root structure. The biggest rule to keep in mind is keeping your newly potted veggies healthy and hydrated.
- Prepare a clean pot with a hole for drainage with gardening soil.
- Make a small planting hole in your soil that will fit the existing root structure of your plant.
- Pinch at the root structure to remove some of the rockwool and loosen up the roots. Don’t cut the roots!
- Plant it in the hole you made. The entire root structure should be covered.
- Gently press the soil around the base of the plant to ensure roots are in contact with the soil.
- Keep your new plant moist (but not too wet) and place it in an area with plenty of indirect sun.
Once the herb has sent roots into the new soil (about 2-3 weeks), it can again focus on making delicious leaves and is ready to be sampled from for dinner. While it’s still trying to get used to its new home, though, avoid putting additional stress on the plant. You can repot several herbs at a time, just make sure they have enough space in the sunlight that their leaves don’t overlap. Happy gardening!
Use Our Recipes
Our Copiana farmers love fresh produce and love to talk about it! Ask them for their favorite ways to use your new greens and herbs. They’ll send you home with plenty of new recipes to liven up your meal plan. A few of our favorites include:
Mustard Green Frittata
Like quiche, but without the fussy crust. Serve up this tasty frittata at your next brunch…and be prepared to serve seconds. Fresh mustard greens add a delightful pepperiness to this dish that balances the richness of cream, butter, and parmesan. Yes, it’s an ideal breakfast dish, but it also reheats beautifully as lunch, dinner, and a late night snack. It’s that craveable.
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Whip up this batch of fresh salsa for your next taco night. Roasted tomatoes, garlic, and jalapenos add a depth of flavor that makes this salsa-seasoned with cumin, lime, and fresh cilantro-an ideal pairing for barbacoa or carne asada.
Easy, Fresh Pasta Sauce
This rough recipe is perfect for tomatoes on their last days. Don’t worry about proportions; it will be good regardless.
- For cherry tomatoes, place in a pan with some oil, letting them blister.
- As they begin to split, add two pinches of salt and begin breaking them up with the back of your spoon.
- Add garlic and onion to the pan to sauté.
- Add fresh herbs, vinegar, and spices.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until it coats the back of your spoon.
- Finish off with a bit of butter or oil for richness. Voilà!
Share with a friend
More harvest than you know what to do with? Share your Copiana produce with a friend! Fresh greens and herbs are some of our favorite housewarming gifts (and much more original than a bottle of wine). You might even try a joint dinner party featuring your harvest goods-nothing breaks a kitchen slump like cooking for someone else.
Too much fresh produce is one of our favorite problems to have, and we’re experts at solving it. Whether you decide to dry your herbs, start a small garden of your own, try a new recipe, or spread the wealth, there are endless ways to use your Copiana harvest.