How To Harvest Caraway

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:02 pm

Cumin is often confused with the true caraway. The herbaceous plants not only belong to different genera, but are used differently. Because the plants have their own ripening phases, harvesting takes place either in the first or second year.

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Time

How To Harvest Caraway


Meadow caraway (Carum carvi) is a biennial herb that develops leaves in the first year. In the following growing season, the herb flowers from May to July. Seed ripening begins when the flowers turn brown after about 40 days.It extends from June to August. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is an annual plant that comes to flowering in the same year of cultivation and develops fruits in autumn.

Harvest
All parts of the caraway plant are edible, with the leaves and seeds usually being used. The plant has health-promoting properties and is suitable for the preparation of dishes and teas. In the case of cumin, the split fruits are used and processed into a fine spice powder.

Flowers of the meadow cumin

  • are edible and taste mild
  • are suitable for decorating dishes
  • can be picked from June to July

Leaves
Carum carvi provides spicy herb that is used as a substitute for parsley or dill. This is ready for harvesting as long as the plant has not yet flowered. If the first flowers open, the essential oils are lost and the aromatic flavor diminishes. Pluck off scattered leaves so that the herb still has enough foliage for photosynthesis.

Seeds
Cruciferous and meadow caraway develop fruiting stalks, which can be dried in a warm place on the windowsill. Alternatively, you can bundle the stems and tie them together with string. These bundles can be hung upside down to air dry. Lay a cloth on the ground or put a cloth bag over them after a week. This way you will catch prematurely falling seeds.

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Drying time depends on ventilation and humidity. Once the plant parts are dry, you can rub the cumin seeds out of the capsules with the palm of your hand. After harvesting, further drying is necessary before you can grind the seeds into powder.

Tips
Meadow caraway develops a long taproot. This you can harvest and cook as a vegetable.

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