There is a whopping 90 percent of the plants that rely on pollinators for the purpose of reproduction and fertilization. And of all the pollinators that exist in the world, Bees are in fact, the most important of all these pollinators. But these most important pollinators are in trouble, and these troublemakers are none other than we humans. As a result of widespread urbanization and deforestation, their natural habitats have been destroyed. Not only has the cutting of trees and plants destroyed habitats, but the modern plantation patterns have also changed and have impacted their habitats in a big way as well. The cultivation of mono-crops such as maize, soy, etc. have made our soils full of poisonous chemicals.
Since the pollinators play a very important role in the cultivation and spread of plant vegetation, it is important to protect these pollinators. There are several ways of protecting the Pollinators, which we will discuss in the next section.
Some Suggestions You Could Use
Pollinators are absolutely necessary for the cultivation and growth of winter squash crops – the honeybees are the most required and necessary among them. Since there had been a decrease in the quality of pollination, the overall yields and productions have decreased substantially. Of late, there has been a drastic decline in the population of honeybees. But thankfully, there are steps and measures to protect these pollinators. Listed below are a few suggestions and ways of protecting pollinators. These include:
1. Plant a mix of other herbs and flowers to attract pollinators
It is advised to plant a variety of herbs and flowers in and around the garden so that these flowers and herbs attract a lot of other types of pollinators. This is to ensure that the bees and other pollinating agents are attracted to these plants so that they are available in ample amounts.
2. Use pesticides judiciously
Make sure that the pesticides are used very sparingly and only when it is absolutely required. Using pesticides when bees and other pollinating agents are not so active ensures that they do not get harmed. And they keep coming to your gardens more often.
3. Maintain and keep the garden well-kept
Make sure that your garden is kept well and groomed well so that the flowers keep blooming throughout the garden, attracting more pollinators to your garden. It is a well-known fact that the bees get attracted to the flowers. So keep the flowers blooming and fill your garden with pollinators.
4. Plant various perennial plants
Ensure that you plant a combination of perennial plants such as shrubs, bushes, alliums, trees, alliums, herbs, flowers, etc. These types of plants flower throughout the year in all seasons, and that keeps the bees thronging your garden at all times in every season. So for all those buzzing bees in your garden, consider planting these plants in your gardens.
5. Do not use herbicides
Using herbicides will kill the herbs that are growing in your garden. Try to achieve a meadow look for your lawns by planting a wide range of flowering plants such as alfalfa along with the perennial clover plants.
6. Provide bee houses in your yard
You can take this additional step to construct bee houses at various portions of your lawn. This could be on a tree just above the stretch where there are flowers in your lawn. Or you can decide to place them across the lawn. This would ensure that they stick around on your lawn. Providing them with a proper shelter also ensures the bees and other pollinators are protected from predators such as birds, reptiles, etc.
7. Arrange for safe feeders for the bees
During the drought season, if the bees and other pollinators do not get ample food, they will have to go to other places in search of food. So, make sure that you provide your bees with food that they are otherwise looking for outside. Provide them with sugar, water, and nectar as food, that they can have their food when they want. Arrange for a safe feeder and provide them with the food. This would ensure that the bees do not go anywhere and are right there in your lawns.
Pollinators are undoubtedly the most important agents in the cultivation of many crops and plantations, and as such, there is a need to preserve these pollinators.
Using this brief guide, you sure can save and attract pollinators to your lawns and gardens and help in the preservation and protection of the environment. Try these suggestions today and watch your landscapes getting better and beautiful.
Perennial herbs are an
excellent choice for your garden. Perennial herbs continue to grow and provide
fresh herbs for your kitchen for many years if given a little care.
You can prepare a mouthwatering recipe by using Perennial herbs. Perennial herbs are good for your health, and you can also use them to make salads, stews, and soups.
Perennial herbs can be
grown at ease, and the best part is that you can harvest them at any time of
the year. Some of the most commonly used perennial culinary herbs are:
Mint is recognized to be
one of the well renowned perennial culinary herbs which are used for cooking on
an extensive scale. Though it is lemony or bit-peppery in its raw form, mint leaves
a cool after taste.
Mints have slightly dented, pointy, oval, and bright green leaves along with the sturdy stem. Mint is used for cooking on an extensively in Middle-Eastern and North African recipes.
This herb emanates a
refreshing smell. The intense flavor of this herb makes it the best option to
cook fish sauces, peas, lamb, vegetables, and chocolate. You can also use mint
to prepare tea and other beverages. The most popular varieties of mint which
are used for cooking include spearmint, good old peppermint, and apple mint.
It is another popular
favorable herb that can be used for cooking vegetables, meat, and poultry. In
addition to this, you can also use it with apricots, garlic, roasted potatoes,
and roasted chicken. You are going to love this plant for its delightful scent.
They are used on an
extensive scale in different types of floral arrangements. The intense flavor
of this herb contributes to being one of the prominent reasons why this herb is
used for cooking across the globe. It has needle leaves along with hard woody stems.
This is another worth
mentioning name in the list of perennial culinary herbs, which is used for the
preparation of Balkan and Italian dishes. You can fry it with light batter for
preparing pork, sausages, and bacon.
You can also make the best
use of this herb for preparing fresh stuffed pasta, butter, rabbits, eggs, to
name a few. Furthermore, you can use this aromatic herb for making sauces,
seasoning meats, and vegetables. Sage in its dried form emits strong flavor.
This herb has earned a
high reputation for its fresh aroma and amazing delicate flavor. The leaves of
this plant are soft and light. It is used for the preparation of Eastern and
Northern cuisines. Dill is an ideal choice for cucumbers, green soups, salmon,
beetroot, cream, pickles, and other recipes. Dill can also be used to season peas,
potatoes, lamb, and fish.
This perennial herb is primarily grown in the warm climate of Mediterranean and Eurasia. Also referred to as the wild aroma, it is used to flavor a plethora of American and Italian dishes. Oregano is commonly used in the preparation of Turkish, Grek, and Mediterranean dishes. Oregano, also, goes well with olive oil, tomatoes, lamb, pizza, yogurt, and kebabs.
Spring is the ideal
season for growing this herb. This delicious herb comes with a lovely smell,
and you can use it for different purposes in your kitchen.
It is recognized to be
the perfect herb for the preparation of cold and warm dishes. You can use winter
savory to make tasty teas. winter savory is useful in adding an aromatic flavor
to a plethora of recipes.
Besides this, it boasts
of a bunch of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The intense flavor of
this spicy herb makes it an ideal choice for the preparation of poultry, beans,
and fish. You can also use it for garnishing the salad and flavoring the
This perennial herb
comprises of medicinal properties, and it is regarded as an ideal option for
the kitchen. You can use lemon balm to garnish meals. It can also be used for
the preparation of teas and other beverages.
This perennial herb
produces a variety of purple flowers which add to the beauty of the garden. It
is used for the preparation of dressings and salad. It offers a bit of sweet
flavor to a plethora of dishes.
The dried lavender buds
and lavender syrup make it the ideal choice for the preparation of Lavender
marshmallows and scones. This herb also consists of different health benefits,
which make it the prime choice for cooking.
The perennial herb tyme
can found in most kitchens. Tyme is known to have a pungent, earthy, and lemony
smell. tyme is used widely in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries recipes.
Tyme can be used in barbecue
meats, eggplants, mushrooms, chicken, roasted vegetables such as tomatoes, bell
peppers, zucchini, and goat cheese. You can also add this herb for preparing
stews and soups.
herbs are regarded as the best option for the preparation of different
cuisines. They are used primarily after drying, and their flavor and aroma
enhance the taste.
The best thing about
these perennial herbs is that perennial herbs can easily be grown in pots, in
your yard or in your garden. All you need is an adequate amount of water, right
exposure to light, and care and you are good to go.
Coriander is easy to grow and is best used fresh, and therefore is a very
good choice for growing your
own kitchen herbs. Especially if you like cooking, Asian or Latin food. Coriander
finds several uses because both the leaves and seeds are used as food. The
leaves of coriander are, called cilantro, can be chopped and used for garnishing
or used while cooking in a variety of dishes including, rice, soups, salsa, and
To grow coriander,
you need to provide the plant with a lot
of sunshine as is the case usually when growing kitchen herbs though when the
sun is at its peak; it prefers some shade.
If the plant is not cared for well, it very
often does not grow rich foliage and instead of
flowers and produces seeds. So, if you are growing coriander for its leaves, you should keep the conditions right for
Coriander can be
grown directly from its seeds by sowing them in the soil.
Cilantro is really easy to grow, fast growing, and does not require a lot of
Cilantro was one of the first herbs/spices grown by the early colonists in
America. Growing a few feet of Cilantro in the Spring, and areas with milder
winters as a fall and winter crop will provide plenty to eat, dry for later use
and/or to let go to seed in hot weather to use as Coriander spice.
When to plant cilantro
depends on the general climate condition in which you live and the specific
average hardiness frost dates. The
general strategies vary somewhat
depending upon whether you live in northern or southern regions of the United
Plant cilantro a two or three weeks before the last frost. To have a
steady harvest throughout the summer, plant cilantro every couple of weeks
until late autumn.
Plant in the beginning in early autumn to have a winter (until a killing frost sets in) and two or three weeks before the last frost for spring harvest.
Cilantro takes about 30 to 40 days from planting to harvest as green herbs
and 40 to 50 days for the seeds to be ready for harvesting as coriander.
Herbs are one of
the fascinating plant species on the planet.
Humans have grown herbs for millennia and eaten herbs from the very beginning of
time. They have added to our lives in several different ways. The humble little
plants have been utilized in the following areas: flavoring food, medicinal remedies,
fragrances, dyes, landscaping, pest control, and industrial uses. In recent years
growing herbs has experienced a giant leap in popularity. One major factor is
that they provide an attractive method of entry into the gardening fraternity
because they are so easy to grow.
There are many
plants that are included in the herb family. This causes a little bit of a challenge
in defining members of the family. The strict botanist school definition of an herb
is that it is a plant that does not form woody tissue. Ergo the name herbaceous
to describe such a plant. Practical herb gardeners are a little more liberal in
their definition of herbs and include plants with flowers, leaves, roots, stems,
or fruits that provide any of the manifestations ascribed to herb plants. These
qualities include ornamental, aromatic, medicinal, culinary, and household uses.
Many plants with woody stems are included in the definition of herbs.
Cultivated types (cultivators) such as thyme, lavender, and rosemary along with vines, trees, and shrubs are in there. Many cultivators are included in the legion
of herb plants on the market today.
Under the right
conditions, herbs are some of the easiest
plants to grow. They can do well in a wide range of growing conditions and soils,
but the key factor is drainage. Herb plants do not like “wet feet,” and they must be planted in well-drained
soil, or they will not live. Richer soils will cause the plants to grow larger stems and roots
rather than the oils which produce the
desired flavors and aromas. When planning an herb garden, consider the native origins
of the herbs to be included in the garden. Herbs originally from the Mediterranean
Sea area will vary in their requirements from East Asia.
Annuals herbs are plants which go through their whole life cycle from seed
to flower, and again to seed in one growing season. Once this happens, the plant dies. If you collect seeds, you can replant in the
same year (e.g., spring and fall), or save and replant the following year. Common
annual herbs are:
Perennials herbs, if well cared for, can last for years in the correct climate
conditions. This makes them an excellent
investment in both time and money. Of course, you may end up with more of them
than you could possibly eat, which is the case with all the large rosemary
bushes in my landscape. We use what we want, and the rest look good and attract
In cooler climates, the plant to may die back in the winter and will return in the following spring;
assuming cold temperature do not exceed their tolerances. Perennials herbs will continue growing through
the winter if you live in some of the more temperate zones. Some common perennial
Cilantro (also known as “Chinese parsley,“ “Coriander leaf” or
“fresh coriander”) refers to the fresh leaf and Coriander which is
the name for the seeds are parts of the same plant.
We tend to
think of the leaves as “herbs” and the seeds and roots as
“spices.” However, in much of the world, the entire plant, leaves,
roots, and seeds, are known as Coriander.
is an annual herb with feathery leaves and white
umbrella flower heads, which means its entire life cycle, from planting,
to maturity, to the end of its life, occurs in a single growing season. In other
words, annual herbs must be started with new seedlings, or new seeds planted, every
Coriander (Cilantro) can be grown for both leaves and seeds. Varieties have
been bred to be better at producing one or the other, so the variety you choose
is important. A seed variety will produce seed quicker than a leaf variety, but
once a plant ‘runs to seed’ it will stop leaf production. If you want coriander
leaves for your cooking, this means you will have a shorter picking time. All
varieties will eventually produce seed, but the leaf varieties will hold off for
‘Calypso’ which is slow to bolt or ‘Cruiser’ which is bolt-resistant are the generally considered the best for herb production with an excellent ‘cut and come again’ habit, while ‘Santo’ will produce larger flower heads, thereby producing more seed, and will run to seed more quickly. Whichever variety you, make sure to check if the seeds you are using are ‘seed’ or ‘leaf’ varieties and choose the type which best fits the way your family eats.
Bring your meals to life
foods ranging from Latin American to Asian use cilantro and coriander in their
daily and festive food. So, there is a wealth of recipe available across many
cultures with which to experiment with your
garden crop of cilantro and coriander.
How to use cilantro and coriander in the kitchen
As you may have
gathered, cilantro is a feature in our favorite meals from around the world. The
reason that recipes from all cultures use this herb
is that the entire plant is edible.
roots, stems, and leaves each have
distinct flavors and uses.
while the most
common way to use cilantro, at least in the South and in Latin cuisines, is the
use of fresh leaves there are other ways to use cilantro or the seeds (coriander).
Cilantro can be dried or frozen or in the case of short-term use refrigerated.
Coriander seeds necessarily are used dry, but they can be ground into a powder
and uses a spice.
Methods of Drying Cilantro Leaves
Cilantro harvest is easy to do at home and requires no special equipment. However, you want to be sure to harvester
cilantro before the plant begins to bolt for best results. Once the cilantro
bolts the leaves change as does the flavor and the texture of the leaves. If
your cilantro escapes from you, as mine sometimes does, and has started to
flower you might as well let it go ahead and go to seed so you can use the
coriander. If you still want cilantro leaves, you should go ahead and succession
plant a new crops or if the weather is exceedingly hot consider growing your
cilantro indoors in pots or as microgreens.
Cilantro seeds (Coriander) are used most often in the large variety of dishes,
dried Cilantro has its place in soups, sauces, and stews.
or Kitchen shears
or another container suitable for Cilantro sprigs
Spinner or two clean kitchen towels
Drying Rack, Dry attic or porch
Brown Paper Bags (optional)
your Cilantro harvest in the morning hours after the sun has dried away the dew
of the night.
the sprigs into small, loose bundles, and bind the stems together with rubber
bands to keep them together as they dry. Be sure to space the branches to allow
for good air circulation.
using paper bags, cover each bundle and cut small slits the sides to allow for
air flow around the Cilantro. These protective paper bags keep dust off of the
Cilantro as it dries and stops the Cilantro becoming sunlight bleached. Ensure that enough air flows through the
paper bags to keep your Cilantro from molding.
Occasionally inspect your Cilantro, and, if necessary either cut more
holes in the paper bags or remove the Cilantro from the paper bags. Moisture may build up inside the paper bag,
especially if the sun hits it, allowing fungus and mildew to form. Discard any
molded leaves or bunches.
your Cilantro upside down (leaf ends down) in a warm, dry place such as an
attic, pantry, a disused room, or protected porch until the leaves are dry and
brittle to the touch, which should take about two weeks.
the dried bundles and place on a sheet of wax paper.
the dried leaves onto the wax paper and separate all of the tough stems.
the Cilantro into a clean, airtight jar, Ziplock freezer bag, or a vacuum
sealer pouch and seal tightly.
or pouches can be stored Cilantro in a dry, dark place like your pantry, root
cellar, or cupboard.
and Cilantro can be used in sauces, gravies, dressings, vinaigrettes, chutneys,
and a large variety of vegetable dishes.
Oven Drying Cilantro
Cilantro can be
dried in the oven at the lowest temperature, or, if you have a gas stove with a
pilot light using only the pilot light as the heat source, but this may take a
little longer. Spread the cilantro evenly in a single layer on a cookie sheet
lined with parchment paper.
If using a cookie sheet to dry the Cilantros, place the Cilantros to be dried
on parchment paper to avoid direct contact with the metal trays. Metal contact darkens the color of the
Cilantro being dried, causing the Cilantro to lose its bright green color.
Spinner or two clean kitchen towels
shears or good chopping knife
board or block
and gently spin dry the fresh Cilantro sprigs.
out the discolored leaves and woody stems.
your ovens lowest temperature setting and preheat the oven.
the cilantro into 1/4″ pieces onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or
spread the whole leaves in a thin layer on the paper.
in oven on evenly spaced racks for two to four hours or until Cilantro crumbles
easily rubbed between your fingers. Your actual drying times vary a little from
one day to the next.
the drying progress after about 30 minutes, and then at 15-minute intervals
until the leaves feel dry and flaky. Remove from the oven to cool.
the parchment paper into a funnel and place the smallest end over the mouth of
a clean, completely dry jar or a vacuum sealer pouch and seal tightly.
Drying Cilantro In A dehydrator
Soak your Cilantro herbs in a bowl of water. Wash and gently spin dry the fresh Cilantro sprigs. Next, remove the stems of the leaves. Some people prefer to dry their herbs without removing the stems; it is a matter of personal preference. Layout the cleaned leaves on dehydrator trays in a single layer–they can touch, but not overlapping. They will not stick together when they are dried. You should process these in your favorite dehydrator at 110° for approximately 1 to 3 hours. Cilantro leaves dry fairly quickly, so, will want to check then frequently. You’ll know they are done when the leaves are crisp and crumble between your fingers.
Dried Coriander Sееdѕ
the seed heads from the mature Coriander plant as soon as you notice that the
flower heads are starting to set seeds. Sееdѕ usually mature rather quickly, so
the clipped seed heads into loose bundles and secure with a rubber band.
the seed pod bundles with paper bags and hang upside down in an airy, dry place
to dry. The seed should separate from
the seed heads within a few weeks.
the dried Cilantro paper bags to loosen any other seeds and pour onto a piece
of wax paper or parchment paper.
the stems and any other debris to separate the seeds and pour into a small
spice container for use in the kitchen or for planting in the Spring!
Place jar or pouch in a dry, dark place such as your kitchen cabinet, pantry or even your freezer.
Dried Cilantro will last as long as any other dried Cilantro you buy—as long as two years.
I want to thank you
for buying this book, ‘Growing Epazote –
A Home Gardener’s Guide’ and I hope you will find it informative and
Gardening is a
pleasurable and enjoyable hobby. It is also one of those hobbies that require a
lot of patience. However, the results are exquisite. It is one of the rare
hobbies in which you need to deal with real living things and take care of
them. Gardeners love their plants and consider them to be their friends.
gardeners, old and new, are looking out for certain plants and shrubs that were
once considered to be weeds. While these plants held special places in various
cultures, due to commercialization, their invasive nature and lack of
information regarding them had deemed them as weeds. However, most of these
plants and shrubs are not only beautiful, but they have various beneficial
properties as well. Such a plant, which is often considered to be a weed, is
Epazote is an
ancient plant that holds a significant place in Latin American culture.
Nowadays, more and more people want to grow epazote thanks to its pungent but
exciting flavor and its anti-flatulence properties. If you are one of these
people, this book will help you grow epazote in no time.
Epazote is quite
easy to grow which is why even new and amateur gardeners won’t have any
problems growing it. Read on to find out how to introduce this delicious herb
into your garden right away!
I hope you will use
the information provided in this book to make your home and garden greener and
your food tastier.
Before moving on to
growth and care tips regarding epazote, it is first necessary to understand the
plant itself. This chapter will briefly explain the various properties,
qualities and certain warnings regarding growing, using and consuming epazote.
Epazote is a commonly grown herb crop in the Yuma area. However, the percentage of growers who grow this crop is quite small. Not many people are aware of Epazote ‘s popularity and importance. Epazote is a leafy vegetable that is often used as an herb for its pungent flavor. It is either used raw or is often cooked along with various other ingredients. It is extremely pungent and resinous. It tastes a bit like fennel, anise or tarragon. However, the taste is much stronger. The fragrance is strong too and it is difficult to describe, as it does not match any other scent.
Epazote sounds like
rather an exotic name. However, it is still better than various other names
that this herb has. Some people call it goosefoot, pigweed, skunkweed or wormseed.
These names are not random, as epazote comes from the Aztec words ‘epatl’ and
‘tzol.’ These two words taken together roughly translate to smelly animal.
Other, far better names include Mexican. People rarely refer to it as
Chenopodium ambrosioides either. As mentioned earlier, epazote holds a dear and
special place in the Central American and Latin American culture. It is
commonly used in Guatemalan and Central American cuisines.
As mentioned in the
section above, epazote is extremely strong and pungent which is why people
often consider it to be an acquired taste. Some people complain of it being too
bitter with slight hints of lemon. Certain people tend to replace epazote with
Mexican oregano, which is often found to be more palatable for fussy eaters.
However, no herb or ingredient can replace epazote and its pungent but
Different parts of
the epazote have different flavors. However, only the leaves of the plant are fit
for human consumption. Other parts can prove to be toxic and must be avoided.
Young leaves of the plant are richer yet milder in flavor as compared to the
older leaves. The flavor becomes more and more intense with age.
Epazote is suitable
for tropical as well as sub-tropical climatic conditions. If grown properly it
can grow over 3 feet. It is often discarded as a weed in places like Mexico and
the USA. It is invasive and a rapid grower and it is possible that you may
already have some in your garden, or a local park, though if you plan to
consume epazote, it is recommended to plant a new one only for consumption. Do
not use leaves from your park or any other public place.
While the main
concern of this book is to help you grow epazote, it is always better to try
some out before choosing to grow it. Epazote is commonly available in many
Hispanic and Latin Markets. It is available in dry as well as fresh forms. If
fresh epazote is not available, dry epazote can be used and is every bit as
tasty. Dry epazote is available on various e-commerce sites.
Epazote is a hardy
plant and thus storing it is easy. However, as it is an herb, it is perishable,
and thus care must be taken to keep Epazote fresh. Whether you grow epazote or
whether you buy fresh Epazote from the market, always take care of the leaves
to make them last longer. You should store the fresh stems in a tumbler of
fresh water. If you do not want to keep it out in the open, you can keep it
wrapped in some moist paper towels and then keep them in the refrigerator. One
stem of fresh epazote is about one teaspoon of dried epazote.
Epazote has various
uses, and thus many people want to grow it nowadays.
Traditionally, epazote has been used to flavor beans and for the carminative properties of epazote. It is often used to flavor other Mexican dishes, such as squash flower quesadillas, as well. For instance, epazote can be used to season soups, quesadillas, eggs, and potatoes, mole de olla and enchiladas.
You will be
surprised to know that epazote has been used for thousands of years. The
ancient Aztecs used it to flavor their cooking and for its various medicinal
Epazote can be used to treat hookworms, roundworms, amebic dysentery, small tapeworms, excess mucus, and asthma as well.
Externally, it can
be used to treat insect bites and athlete’s foot. It also has insecticidal
properties and can be used against mosquitoes and insect larvae.
Epazote is a strong
laxative and has various laxative properties. With the help of these
properties, it can stop the functioning of parasites and can halt their
advancement in the intestines. It has been used as an essential oil since the
nineteenth century in diluted and concentrated forms. In the 20th century,
pharmaceutical companies started isolating and using it too.
People also use
fresh epazote leaves to create wall hangings, floral decorations, etc. You can
create wreaths, dried floral decorations, etc. Always be careful while using
and handling dried leaves and seeds of epazote as they may irritate the skin.
The seeds are known to cause various reactions including dermatitis etc. to
people who are sensitive to spicy foods and spices.
delicious, is a risky condiment just like cinnamon. The risk can be minimized
if you know how to use it. Some people believe that epazote’s taste is
addictive. However, it is recommended to avoid epazote in large quantities.
Only add a couple of leaves to your food to bring out its flavors. If you want
to add dried leaves, then add according to the recipe. If you are not sure how
to use epazote, you may need to talk to your Latin American friends.
Now you must be
wondering where to find epazote, or you must be excited about growing it in
your garden. Find out more about how to grow epazote in your garden, home or
even in water in the following chapters.
Epazote is delicious as well as a beautiful plant that can make your garden look fresh and green and your foods are tastier. If you love the taste of epazote, it is best to grow it in your garden to ensure a steady supply.
epazote is simple. Epazote has large serrated leaves, and it also gives out
flowers with tiny green balls. It is recommended to consume only the leaves of
the plant. The plant is an annual, and its leaves can be used as an insecticide
as well. If you crush the leaves and spread it on paths, it can make ants go
away. Dry epazote can be used to get rid of ants as well. While only leaves are
fit for human consumption, some people also like to add thin stems of leaves to
their food. If you do decide to use the stems, pulverize them and let them cook
for a long time.
Epazote grows well
in all seasons if you live in a tropical or sub-tropical region. However, if
you live in any other region then it is best to plant epazote in spring after
the ‘dangerous’ frosts are long gone. Epazote needs slightly high temperature
throughout the day. The temperature should reach at least 50 degrees. Any less
and the growth will not be satisfactory. Always grow epazote in well-drained
soil and full sunlight.
Epazote seeds are
small and thus should not be sown too deep. It is recommended to sow them at
the surface of the soil. If you live in a windy zone, sow them at 1/16-inch
depth. Always keep the soil warm and moist as it helps germination. As said in
the last section, the temperature should be around 50 degrees. Epazote grows
quickly and can be invasive and it is therefore recommended to allow the area
some growing space. If you are not comfortable with the plant taking over your
garden, only plant it in containers. This way you will be able to keep it under
For subtropical and
tropical regions, you can sow epazote seeds throughout the year. For people who
live in moderate zones, seeds can be sown in mid-spring when the temperatures
are moderately high. Seeds germinate and grow in about 2-4 weeks. Some plants
may even grow fully and be ready for harvest in a month or two. If you sow
seeds over a stretched period, you will be able to ensure a long harvest. Sow
the seeds throughout the spring.
As epazote is
native to tropical regions, it grows the best in zones 2-7. It may even grow up
to 2 to 4 feet. If you live in colder regions, it is recommended to grow it in
containers so that you can bring it in if the temperature drops out of the
Do not plant seeds
in loamy soil. Always sow them where the roots will not be submerged in water
for long. Sun is crucial for good flavor.
Epazote grows the
best outside, as it requires high temperature and direct sunlight. However, it
can also be grown indoors in soil as well as water.
If you want to sow
epazote indoors, do it in a place that receives ample sunlight. Windowsills and
balconies are the best places for growing epazote. Seeds can be either started
in growing medium, tissues or soil as well. Once the seedlings are ready, you
can transfer them to containers containing growing media or soil. You can also
transfer them to containers containing water. Epazote can grow well in water
that is replenished with nutrients sparingly.
It is recommended
to grow epazote for at least 4-6 weeks before moving them outside (if you want
to). If you do not want to grow them outside at all, you may continue to grow
them on windowsills.
While epazote can
grow in water, their growth will not be as satisfactory as epazote grown
outside in the soil.
Epazote leaves are
bright, dark green and come out of the reddish stem of the mature plant. They
have serrated edges, i.e., edges that look like teeth. They can also produce
tiny flowers that grow right with the stems. These flowers then grow into
Epazotes are rapid
growers and quickly gain their standard height of about 4ft. If you
continuously harvest the tip of the plant after every couple of weeks, the
plant will continue to grow and get more and bushy as well. This will also
allow you to harvest the herb throughout the growing season.
Epazotes do the
best in warm weather where the temperature does not drop below 50 very often.
Do not water the plants too much and a dense watering thrice a week is
sufficient. If it does not rain, you may increase the watering. Do not use a
forceful stream or pressurized water to water the plant, as its stem is often
quite delicate. Do not over water or it will lead to root-rot.
has almost no pests as the texture of the plant and the scent of the leaves act
as a deterrent to parasites and pests all over. Epazote can also help you to
get rid of pests from other plants, as pests will leave any area where epazote
spreading leaves of epazote plant can help you get rid of annoying pests like
ants etc. from your house.
say that it’s not worth drying Epazote because it loses its flavor when dried, but I disagree. While the flavor
may not be as intense as a fresh bunch from the garden, there is still plenty
of culinary use for dried Epazote in everyday cooking.
are several ways of drying Epazote which include
To oven dry
your Epazote, preheat oven to 250-300 degrees F.
Lightly coat a cookie sheet with baking spray to help with sticking. Strip the leaves
off the stems of the Epazote and spread the leaves in one layer on the cookie
sheet. Let, the leaves dry out in the oven for 20-30 minutes, check once. You
just want the leaves to lose the fresh green look. Take them out of the oven and
cool on the cookie sheet. Use a spatula to scrape off the cookie sheet, and
slightly crumble the leaves. Put in an airtight jar and store with spices, use when
needed! These will last as long as any other dried herb.
the Epazote under cool, running water and dry it thoroughly, but gently, with a
the Epazote together and tie the stem ends together with a string for them to be used immediately.
Epazote bunch in a dry area until all the water evaporates from the leaves of
the bunch upside down in a paper bag. Tie the paper bag closed and poke several
holes in the bag with the tip of a knife to allow for ventilation.
bag in a warm, dry area that is not in direct sunlight.
Open the bag and check the herbs every few days to see if the
Epazote is sufficiently dry. The herb should feel crisp and crumble easily in
your hand, with no areas of moisture. It should take about one to two weeks to properly
dry your Epazote.
the Epazote in a bag while it dries allows the leaves to drop into the bag rather
than onto the floor or counter.
dried Epazote in a sealed, airtight container.
tastes best when added to cooked dishes as opposed to salsas or salads.
Epazote for drying that has fresh, healthy leaves; avoid Epazote with wilted
fresh Epazote until you are able to dry it by placing the stems in 1 inch of water
and covering the plant with a plastic bag. Fresh Epazote should keep in the refrigerator
for up to one week.
Epazote herbs in a bowl of water. After they have
soaked for a few minutes, put the leaves
in a salad spinner or large dish towel and give it a twirl. This helps
to make the leaves as dry as possible.
remove the stems of the herbs. Some people prefer to dry their herbs without
removing the stems; it is a matter of personal preference. Once the leaves are completely dry,
the stems will be minimal, so you decide what’s best. If you plan to grind the dried
leaves into powder, the stems will not make a difference.
Once you’ve cleaned and dried the Epazote leaves, lay them on
dehydrator trays in a single layer. It is okay to have the leaves touch. They
will not stick together when they are dried.
You should process these in your favorite dehydrator at 110°
for approximately 1 to 3 hours. They dry fairly quickly
so keep an eye out. You’ll know they are done when
the leaves are crisp and crumble between your fingers.
How to store dehydrated Epazote
To store dehydrated Epazote, place the dried Epazote in an
airtight container and keep in a cool, dark, dry place for the best flavor and color.
Use the leaves within a year. Keep the leaves whole; they have
a longer shelf life than ground herbs. For the best flavor crush or grind the leaves
just before using.
Dried Epazote lasts as long as two years, and you don’t have to
worry about freezer burn or other problems that occur when freezing food.
If you have the freezer space or happen to
have a second freezer as we did for many years, freezing is a good way to
preserve Epazote, which, also, has the benefit of retaining more of the original
flavor of Epazote then drying does.
There are three basic methods for freezing Epazote:
The Ice Cube Method
The Vacuum Sealer Method,
The Cookie Sheet
Ice Cube Method
One way of freezing Epazote is to add the
leaves or parts of leaves to ice cube trays in water or broth before freezing.
This method is useful for adding small quantities to recipes, especially soup,
stews, and casseroles.
Salad Spinner or two
clean spongy kitchen towels
shears or sharp knife and cutting board
Entire leaf or hacked Epazote
Fresh faucet water
Pick through the fresh Epazote
and dispose of damaged leaves. Spin drying or pat dry between two kitchen
towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
Strip off the leaves
from the stem.
Dice the Epazote and
add to ice cube trays.
Fill every compartment with
Top off with filtered water
or broth and place in the freezer.
the ice cubes have frozen, remove the Epazote cubes.
and air-proof freezer bag or container in your freezer.
This method preserves more color and flavor
by keeping the leaves sealed.
Vacuum sealer with
proper bag material
Salad Spinner or clean
spongy kitchen towels
Kitchen shears or sharp
Wash and gently spin dry
or gently pat dry with kitchen towels to remove excess moisture.
Cut or remove the stems
Make a bag large enough
to hold the Epazote leaves and allow some headspace between the herb and the seal.
Label bag with herb
name and date it.
Place herbs into the
seal the bag.
flat in the freezer. After the bags have frozen solid, they can be put away
upright or stacked to save space.
The Cookie Sheet Method
This method is in common use as most homes
still do not have vacuum sealers in their kitchens. The cookie sheet method, also,
preserves more color and flavor than drying Epazote.
Air tight freezer bag
or plastic freezer containers
A cookie sheet or sheet
pan which will fit on your freezer shelves
Salad Spinner or clean
spongy kitchen towels
Kitchen shears or sharp
Wash and gently spin
dry or gently pat dry with kitchen towels to remove excess moisture.
Cut or remove the stems
Label bag with herb
name and date it.
Line the cookie sheet with
Spread the Epazote leaves
on top of the parchment paper
Spread the leaves on a
parchment paper lined cookie sheet (not touching one another) in successive
layers of parament paper and Epazote. For best results, at most three to five
layers are recommended.
You can place a final
layer of parchment paper and top with a second cookie sheet to gently press the
Let the leaves freeze a
few hours or overnight.
Once the leaves are
thoroughly frozen, quickly remove the leaves from the cookie sheet, and
parchment paper, and pack the Epazote leaves loosely inside small freezer bags
or freezer containers for long-term storage.
How long can Epazote stored in
If properly stored, it will
maintain the best quality for about 4 to 6 months but will remain safe beyond
Thank you for
buying this book, and I hope you found it useful and interesting.
Gardening is a fun
way to relax and enjoy the beautiful and often tasty results of your hard work.
Epazote is a brilliant starter plant for everyone who is interested in growing
herbs and is an amateur gardener. It is easy to grow and care for the plant and
can be grown anywhere.
Epazote is quite
potent, and only a small amount is needed to make your dish pop! This means you
can grow a couple of plants, and they will last you throughout the season. If
you are new to the taste of epazote, use it in various quantities to find one
that suits and soothes your taste buds. Remember, it is always better to add less
spice than more as it is possible to make up for less but removing more is