How to Harvest Herbs Efficiently - Top 5 Harvest ToolsJun 25, 2021
There are many tools available to speed up the herb harvest process. Today, I’m going to share my top five simple and affordable tools I use at harvest time.
Before we jump in with my favorite tools for harvesting herbs, let’s talk about how you’re going to use the herbs once they are harvested!
If you’re not yet a member of our Herbal Studio & Communi-tea, you can get on the waitlist for the next time we open enrollment here. As a member, you’ll learn how to grow herbs, create tea blends and herbal medicines with a “communi-tea” of like-minded herb and tea-loving friends!
We also have an upcoming dehydrating eCourse that you can get on the waitlist for right here! This will come in very handy once you’ve harvested all your herbs! You’ll also want to learn how to store dried herbs for best results.
And finally, if medicinal teas interest you, we have a full Medicinal Teas Course where you’ll learn how to blend your own teas, turn herbs into powerful medicines, how to identify which herbs to use for the job using herbal monographs, and how to use herbs safely and effectively.
But now, back to the tools!
Are Tools and Gadgets Really Necessary for Harvesting Herbs?
The herb garden abundance comes all at once or nothing at all, am I right? Planting season is behind us, and summer is upon us. Now is the time when our flowers and herbs are ready to harvest, which can lead to overwhelm because they all need attention at the same time.
Investing in proper tools can help you learn how to harvest herbs efficiently, as well as preserve the investment you made in your plants by keeping perennial herbs healthy to promote further growth for years to come.
These five tools are my favorites because they are efficient, affordable, and can be found at any local farm and garden store or at Amazon online.
Herb Harvesting Tools that I Recommend
I use my kitchen shears for cutting the stems of roses, lemon balm, mints, and culinary herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, chives, etc.).
Always use sharp kitchen shears. They are far too affordable to be holding onto dull useless scissors.
Chamomile Harvester (Or Fruit Harvester)
A chamomile or fruit harvester allows you to harvest multiple flower buds or berries at the same time.
Anyone who harvests chamomile with scissors knows how quickly your hand can cramp up, so using this harvester is a much more comfortable and faster approach.
Always handle your plants gently when using a harvester to ensure you are not stripping leaves or damaging the plant part left behind.
Florists often use a thorn or leaf stripper to strip thorns off of roses when making a bouquet, but this tool also works great for stripping the leaves off of herb plants (as opposed to pinching off individual leaves one at a time).
This particular tool is best for larger woody-stemmed herbs such as rosemary and oregano.
If the plant tends to be more dainty, then an herb stripper would be a better choice (keep reading for details!).
An herb stripper works on nearly any herb because it has several different-sized holes to accommodate whatever size stem you are working with.
I have a stainless steel version that also has a knife on one edge. This comes in handy to cut and strip the set of leaves from the stems with one tool if you don’t have your kitchen scissors with you.
Though this may not be considered a “tool”, when harvesting, it’s critical to have a place to carry your tools as well as a way to keep your fresh herbs protected as you remove them from the plants.
I have had my harvest basket (also known as a market basket) for nearly a decade and use it constantly. Any box or crate with a wide capacity should do, but I love my basket because it is lightweight and has a handle making it easy to carry.
And a bonus tool that I love having in my herbal kitchen is this marble mortar and pestle! It’s fantastic for grinding up herbs and spices to release their therapeutic benefits!
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