Hang a bunch of dill over your door and you will be protected from witches, is an old folk belief. Dill has been cultivated and used since the time of the Egyptians. The old Norse word dilla, from which dill is derived means to "lull". Dill seed oil has been used to make gripe water which calms a colicky child and sooths stomach problems.
Plant seeds of dill in the early spring, but not to deep, it needs a little sunlight to germinate. I plant a large block of dill and harvest the dill weed when it is about 6 inches tall. As the plant matures they can grow up to 5 feet tall so plant them where they will not be damaged by the wind. I have found that planting in large blocks also helps the plant to support it's self.
To harvest the dill plant, cut off at the base when the seeds are fully developed and still green. Tye in bundles and hang to dry. Use a rubber band around the stems so when they dry, the band will tighten and the dill will not fall out of the bundle.
Use the dill as flavoring for pickles, other pickled vegetables, and herbed dill vinegars.
To harvest dill seed I simply wait until the dill seeds have turned brown. Cut off plants at the base and fill a large paper grocery sacks full of the dill with the heads at the bottom. Set the sacks in a warm, dry place such as the back of a closet. When the stalks are completely dry, remove the seeds from the stems, letting them fall to the bottom of the bag. On a slightly windy day pour the seed out of the bag into a large bowl. This will get rid of all the smaller stems.
Store the seed in an air tight jar.
TRY THIS: when you have eaten all the pickles from a jar, don't pour out the vinegar; add fresh, cleaned, vegetables from the garden into the jar. (try a mixture of baby carrots, thin string beans, broccoli florets, etc.) Put on the lid and place in the refrigerator for a week or two. These fresh vege pickles need to be eaten within a reasonable amount of time and not stored without refrigeration.
The kids like to sip a small amount of home canned pickle juice during the summer. It is very refreshing and replenishes essentials fluids you loose while working in the sun all day.
DILLED TOMATO BREAD
make bread in the usual manner, but substitute tomato juice for the liquid
add dill seeds just before you mold into loaves
I like to use the small, shaped, cylinder loaf pans
serve the thick, sliced tomatoe bread with cream cheese,
topped with diced black olives and fresh dill sprigs
these make wonderful sandwiches for tea