We harvested our first crop of the season...cilantro! And we have a lot of it.
To harvest the cilantro, we had to carefully grab the plant at the base (where the plant meets the soil) and gently pull the plant up from the roots, making sure to pull one single plant at a time.
We harvested the entire row, and headed to the washing station indoors for the rest of the day. Each plant was washed, patted dry, gathered in bundles, and stored in coolers. We plan to sell the cilantro bundles to a local farm for them to sell since we do not have enough produce to hold our own market.
I decided to do a little bit of research on cilantro harvesting. Cilantro is a short-lived herb, and should be harvested regularly to expand the lifespan. The method of harvesting we used is a one-time harvest method, since we pulled the entire plant out of the ground.
Gardening Know How suggests cutting cilantro plants about one-third of the way down. The bottom two-thirds will grow new leaves. Harvesting should be done once a week to help stave off bolting, which is the term applied to vegetable crops that prematurely produce seeds, usually making them unusable, according to the Royal Horticultural Society.
If you cannot use the cilantro right away, it is suggested to freeze the cuttings so they stay fresh longer.
There is nothing better than fresh cilantro on a taco. Is your mouth watering yet?
Kasey is a junior Agricultural Communications and Journalism major from Seward, Nebraska. She loves anything involving agriculture, Texas country music paired with a good road trip, and authentic barbecue.