Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dry Your Own Herbs



Several weeks ago, I came across this article on the Mountain Rose Herbs web site about drying herbs from your garden. It has a great chart listing which herbs are best to dry hung upside down in bunches, and which herbs are best stripped from their stems and dried on screens.
I wanted to harvest my thyme and sage plants in my garden. According to the article, sage must be bunched and hung upside down to dry, while thyme leaves need to be stripped from their stems and dried on a rack. I didn’t have a screen to dry the thyme leaves on, but Colorado's semi-arid climate enabled the herbs to dry on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper in a few days.

For the sage, I tied them in bunches and hung them upside in my basement. It’s taken a few weeks, but the sage dried beautifully.
Now I can store these herbs in mason jars and enjoy them in my cooking for the through the winter months.

15 comments:

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Ah man, I wish we would have done this! We did a terrible job of preserving veggies and the like this year from our CSA. I felt horrible about some of the things that got wasted, or fed to the worms, rather.

Do you know of any good books that teach you about canning, freezing, etc.?!

Talon said...

That's a handy article, Cathy. I've been drying my sage, basil, and oregano for years and I love the freshness when you open the jar in the middle of winter and knowing it came from your garden. I haven't had any luck with growing lavender, but I keep trying because I'd love to make sachets for my dresser drawers.

Cookie said...

Wow! you really got a lot of plants from your garden this year. Mine didn't do as well. I'll try again next year. And I don't know why I never though to dry herbs!

hokgardner said...

I bet your basement smells wonderful with all the herbs.

And I've finished your bit of fluff. I just have to block it. My goal is to have it in the mail on Saturday.

Lynn said...

I'll bet it smells good in there, too. :)

Rebecca said...

I didn't know that about thyme. I have successfully dried it the same way you dried the sage. When I need some thyme (no pun intended!), I just take a sprig and rub off some of the leaves.

I have tons of basil and am now inspired to try drying some!

Destiny's child... said...

Wow! Now that's called effective management of resources. Now, you are all equipped to cook during winter. :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

this is great, we just don't get enough sun to grow herbs.... all our windowsills face north and our only garden is a backgreen in the courtyard in the middle of four story tenements

Mama Zen said...

How cool! I've never had much luck with herbs.

nadia said...

Cathy, I just came across your blog. I started a garden blog 2 months ago and I am reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and even though I am reading it much later than everyone else, I am hoping to learn from it... I found your blog doing a search on this book. So glad I found you... will be tuning in often!
nadia... www.nadiaknows.com

Kathleen W. said...

Thanks so much for that link. I've been wanting to dry my mint and sage, and the instructions on the site were so clear.

Yours look beautiful, by the way.

atli092 said...

A good post on herbs.I found this website useful for Herb Gardening tips http://www.herbgardeningtoday.com. I think you guys will find it interesting too.

Thanks,
Steve - Herb garden plants

Kathleen said...

Wow you've got quite the factory going on there, looks wonderful!

Janice Ellen Wright said...

Thanks so much! My sis has been sending me herbs from her garden partially dried, now I'll know the best way to finish the job!

www.nadiaknows.com said...

I loved finding your site. I just did an herb sea salt, thought you might like to see it! http://nadiaknows.com/
have a great day! nadia