When we first planted our herb garden, I found a little potted greek oregano at our local indie nursery. It was astonishingly fragrant and I figured a greek variety might do well in our mediterranean climate. Little did I know.
That first year the mint moth caterpillars got to it. I had to hack the entire plant down to the ground and it didn't put out too much in the way of foliage. Year two, I went on the offensive, when I first noticed the moths I cut it way back and applied BT. The plant thrived. We used a bunch for fresh cooking and in early fall I cut the plant back and got 1/2 pint jar full of dried leaves. That was last fall.
This winter/spring the plant went WILD. In February I cut it back and got another 1/2 pint full of dried leaves. Now, the mint moths are on the loose, so it's time to cut it back again.... This morning I trimmed them back and got this:
Yes, that's a standard full sized colander! Holy cow... I have every expectation that I'll harvest that much again in both July and October now that the plant is established. Seriously, I'm going to be giving it away, take my oregano please! And it's the most intense oregano you've ever smelled or tasted.
Since I'm going to have dried oregano coming out of my ears one way or the other, I decided to use a little of it (like 1/3 cup chopped) to make an infused olive oil. We also had some fresh lemons from a neighbor, so I used the zest from those as well. Doesn't look that pretty, but I have a feeling it's going to taste completely amazing.
(Yes, I'm aware that there's some small chance that infused oils can harbor botulism. But the risk is primaraly from root herbs like garlic, not from leafy ones like oregano. I'll probably refrigerate it after a few days anyway, just to be safe.)