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Summer in the garden! Our oregano has been thriving up the back near the Australian native trees.

The word is derived from Greek, meaning mountain joy.

I love how each stem flowers in its own time and as a few of them flower, we pick them and hang them to dry.
Usually we hang a bunch by the laundry door but there was a bit too much traffic this week so I found a new place for it to hang.
Worked beautifully and made a nice little upside down Christmas tree for a few days bringing even more joy to the living room.

Flowered Oregano in the vegetable garden

Flowered Oregano in the vegetable garden

Once the oregano is flowering, it is ready to cut right down to the bare stalk.  That’s where we hang it from.

Oregano hanging up side down tied with string

Oregano hanging up side down tied with string

With the warm weather, the drying time doesn’t take very long at all.
Get someone tall to bring it down from where it is hanging (if it’s out of reach) and place the dried bunch of oregano on a cloth or a tray.  It is easier to contain it in a tray and at the end to pick it up and pour into a jar.

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Gently scrape the dried leaves off the stalk.

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There may be some very dry leaves that fall off by themselves.
The very tips, where the flowers were, will be tighter together.

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Gently twist off the flower heads and rub together with thumb and finger and it will be almost powdery, very aromatic.

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Continue until all the stems are bare and they can go in the compost.

Start collecting the dried leaves to put into a jar.

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Add more joy to your cooking!

Don’t forget to add oregano on a fresh tomato salad with crispy red onion, capsicum and extra virgin olive oil.
Any left overs will make a great frittata in the morning!

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Have some grated Grana Padano cheese ready with oregano in a small container in the fridge.
This way it is handy and ready for use in scrambled eggs or to sprinkle on top of pizza!

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Oregano adds flavour to bland vegetables like zucchini, and sprinkled on potatoes before they go in the oven.

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This wonderful aromatic herb has some amazing health benefits too.  It has been used to cure all sorts of ailments from dandruff to acne.

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Oregano has antioxidants to help protect against the effects of free radicals and helps fight against infection.