Growing, Harvesting, and Drying Moringa

August 9, 2016

I love to eat healthy and I love growing healthy food so our small backyard has one side just for my little garden. In the picture above under the angled blue sheet is my worm bin. It’s a challenge to keep it in the shade in the summertime but this little nook under the water heater only gets a small amount of morning sun. Next is my super happy fig tree. I had a fresh fig every other day for a while – now it looks like a second crop is forming. Next is the moringa, and finally my turmeric and ginger bed. This strip is about ten feet long and a foot and a half wide. The moringa here is as tall as I will let it get, just past the top of the wall which is around 10 or 11 feet. In this picture I’m getting ready to harvest it, and the old bedspread is ready to receive the moringa trimmings. The day before I washed the entire tree with the pressure handle on the hose as once I harvest it I don’t wash it again.

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The picture above shows the tree after pruning/harvesting. Yes, I know, it looks awful! But it will grow back quickly and will look much nicer in less than a week. The branches and leaves are in a big heap ready for the next step. I lay out an old fabric shower curtain and strip the leaves off each branch onto the shower curtain. This bunch of leaves probably took me an hour.

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The picture above shows the fresh moringa leaves in the shower curtain resting on a bench until the morning when it will be sunny enough to start drying them. I spread them out in the sun on half the shower curtain, folding the other half over so the leaves aren’t in direct sun, which will reduce the amount of vitamin c.

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The picture above is the dried moringa leaf. It took most of one day to dry. I stir it every once in a while and make sure it is always in a sunny spot. Next step is to get out the blender (I love my Vitamix!) and grind all the dried leaves up into powder. The moringa I processed made two one liter jars full, plus a bit that I added to the jar I had been using. That’s the jars, below, looking a little frosty as I just removed them from the fridge to take their picture.

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If you don’t know much about moringa, it really is a superfood. It loves bad soil, doesn’t need much water, and is super nutritious. I love growing my own. By the way, I don’t have seeds but I think one of the fruterias on Avenida La Marina sells them… sorry that’s all I know. I see the dried leaves in many of the health food stores here, be sure to check it out… or grow it yourself, here is one way to do it!

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in Mazatlán, México.

5 Comments
    1. This is inspirational! Thanks for all the great info, Nancy. My tree is tiny compared to yours and it takes me far less time to harvest, but I need to do it often. I appreciate the tip about drying out of direct sunlight. Moringa is great!

      1. Judith, Your tree will be huge in the blink of an eye! Have fun! xo

        Rick, Thanks for your comment, and I love the idea of the Mexican market bag. I have never let my tree flower, what time of year should I expect it? I don’t want to let it get too big but i’d love some drumsticks. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Hola, enjoyed your article and photos, I am in Guayabitos,Nayarit and also grow moringa along with chaya and cacao trees…To dry my leaves I put them in one of those large Mexican mesh bags like you see at the markets, let air dry in the shade and just shake them up ones and a while…I usually let it flower and when the drumsticks are young and tender I pick them and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces and sauté like green beans…….Again, great article, Rick

    1. You can stop it from getting too tall by pruning the top and it will bush out more.
      I use the big size market bag that has the zipper so no bugs get into it.
      You want to pick the drumsticks where they are about 1/4 inch in diameter, I sauté in coconut oil…

    1. Hola Nancy!
      Looks like you’ve got quite the farm going there. Moringa is one of those “super foods,” isn’t it? I have a friend in Monterrey who got quite excited about it a while ago.

      I need to check it out one of these days.

      Saludos,

      Kim G
      CDMX, México
      Where we have no place to garden.

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