I made my first cutting of true Greek oregano (sometimes called white oregano) a few weeks ago. (Last summer, I got busy with other things and missed my window to harvest before it flowered and the plant’s energy went toward seeds. I have to note, thought, that the Sicilian guy who used to own the Italian restaurant downtown always said that the herb had the best flavor when the plant was harvested and dried while flowering. Go figure, right?)
I have been allowing my first cutting to air dry in a triangular wire basket that I keep for that single purpose. (I bought it at a garage sale for $1!) My husband and daughter hate the basket because of it’s shape and large size. They keep catching an edge of it when they brush by and have to stop (or not) to catch the basket before it falls from the seat of the dining room chair on which it is perched or pick up the scattered wands of oregano.
We had company coming for the evening meal, so I decided to strip off the leaves and stow the wire basket downstairs where no one but me will trip over it. I stripped the leaves off of the twigs onto a piece of waxed paper so that it would be easy to transfer them to a air tight jar. I was careful not to crush the leaves as I stripped them from the twigs. The herbs you buy in the store have been crushed, releasing their essential oils into the air. That is why supermarket herbs don’t hold their flavor for as long as homegrown and dried herbs.
I noticed this spring that I have oregano reseeding freely throughout my front garden in the ground and in the pots I use to grow vegetables with deeper root systems. I even transplanted some oregano into my back borders. I hope to establish a couple of very stable plantings so that I can supply all my own oregano and not have to buy it from the store any longer.