Harvesting & Freezing Lemongrass

20120925-073050.jpg I've got lots of lemongrass in the freezer. Last week I harvested 50 of the delicious reeds from my own garden. I use lemongrass to perfume chicken stock & add depth to marinades. This time around I also chopped some of the tender reeds for stir-fry, but it was labor intensive.


Since Autumn is closing in, now is the time to harvest. Using garden pruning shears i cut the reeds as lose to ground level as possible. Keeping the roots allows the plant to regrow. It would be nice if the lemongrass came back one more time before winter, but I'm not holding my breath. I grew the lemongrass in the front garden this year. It was surrounded by my son's rock collection and a large section of soaker hose. Other than weeding, I ignored the lemongrass for much of the summer.



Once the stalks are cut, the fragrance fills the air. Get the stalks inside & cut the grassy top half off - into the compost they'll go. Next, peel back the blades of grass until just the white reed is exposed. At this point, you can freeze the 5 inch section of lemongrass.


If you're up for a bit more work, continue removing the layers of lemongrass until you find the tender final section of lemongrass. I knew I found it when slicing it made no noise. It was like slicing soft butter.



Lemongrass might be the best garden investment this year. For the price of the plant, $2, I grew enough to stock my freezer for more than a year. In grocery store terms, I probably saved at least $50. Any hot bargains in your garden this year?