Wednesday, January 4, 2017

How to Dry Herbs II

How to Dry Herbs II  | Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Drying Herbs)



If you missed my previous post on how to  dry herbs that don't dry well (Click Here)


When Is the best time to harvest your herbs?


The best time to harvest your herbs is after the dew has dried and on a sunny day.


How do I harvest my the herbs?


Using a pair of kitchen scissor or clippers, grab a small bunch in one hand and cut the stems with the other. Discard dead or discolored leave, debris , weeds and creepy crawlers. Then lay them in a gathering basket making sure all the stems are facing in the right direction.

You will  place 12-15 stems in each bunch, wrapping them with a thick rubber band about 1-1/2 inches from the end of the stem.


Where Do I Cut?


Cut the lowest level so you are getting a clean set of leaves.


How do I know what part of the plant to harvest?


Check out the table below.


Where is The Best Place To Hang Them?


Where-ever you hang your herbs make sure that they have plenty of room so the air can freely circulate to ensure the bunches can dry properly. You also want to keep them out of direct sunlight as the light destroys the essential oils

How Long Will It Take The Herbs To Dry?



Most herbs are ready within a week or less, and they will be crunchy to the touch. If you want to speed the process you can place them on a cookie sheet on the lowest setting in your oven
(no higher than 150 degrees). If you can smell them the temp is to high.


When Do I Strip The Leaves Off?


When the stems are brittle & the leaves are crispy it is time to strip off the leaves with a downward motion of your hand. The author like to leave her herbs as close to whole as possible for herb teas.


Where Should I Store Them And How Long Will They Last?


Store in labeled jars away from light. They will store well for one year.


Below is a list of the herbs that do well with the traditional bunching method because they dry quickly.


Herb
Part Of Plant To Harvest How To Use The Herb
Catnip Flowering stalks Tea
Chives Flowers that have just opened Cooking, Crafts
Lavender In bud with long stem Cooking, Crafts, skin-care
Lemon balm   Leafy stems Cooking
Marjoram Leaves Cooking
Mints (not apple) Leafy stems Cooking, crafts, tea
Oregano Leaves before they flower Cooking
Rosemary Leaves (looks like pine needles) Cooking
Sage leaves Cooking
Savory Leafy stems
Cooking

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Drying Herbs)

*This post contains  ad links

Attribution:
This post is a summary of an article I read in Capper’s Farmer magazine, Fall 2014 issue written by Jo Ann Gardner, information obtained from the book Stocking UP III pages 136-137 It is also my personal perspectives/experiences.

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