Oregano is sometimes referred to as wild marjoram (which is interesting because the herb has been cultivated for more than two thousand years). Nevertheless, it is still found growing wild on the mountainsides of Greece.
Oregano is a perennial herb, which means that it comes back year after year (if it is not pulled up by the roots). It will grow up to two feet in height and has relatively small leaves, not usually more than an inch in length. It has little white, pink, or purple flowers that may also be eaten.
While oregano is easy to grow and will produce in many conditions, it likes fertile, well-drained soil the best. It also prefers full sun. Plant in pots or rows 12 inches apart. It does take a while to germinate (12 to 14 days in above 60 degree weather). It should be planted after danger of frost has been reduced to nil. Till often as oregano can quickly be overpowered by tall weeds.
You may begin to take snips of oregano for cooking as soon as the plant begins to bush out. Remember it is the leaves that you want. Discard stems. You can cut several harvests a year from an oregano plant. Try to harvest when there are not too many yellow leaves on the plant. You may cut back so that the sprigs are only one inch in length.
Oregano can be dried using a dehydrator, or you may simply tie sprigs into bunches and hang them from a cool dark place with good ventilation. Store it in air-tight containers. It will be at peak flavor for about six months. Though it will slowly deteriorate over subsequent months, it will remain flavorful and edible for years.
Next Page: Health Benefits of Oregano