Sunday, August 14, 2011

Drying Herbs

We are coming to the end of summer, time to harvest all that great stuff you've been growing all season long. Are you growing herbs? Do you know how to dry them to use them at a later time? Whether you use them for cooking or making herbal products, here is an easy way to dry herbs.

Gather your herbs - make sure they are free of bugs and grass/weeds. Cut them with long stems so you have enough to wrap a rubber band around them. You could also do this with string or yarn, but a rubberband makes this a one handed operation.

Hold about a handful of herbs about 3 inches from the bottom and turn them stem side up. Cut the stems so they are even (makes for easier wrapping).

Take a big (not fat) rubber band and start wrapping around the stems like you would as if you were making a pony tail.

When you get to the end, you use that last wrap to hook your herb on to a nail or push pin on the wall in a cool, dark space.

If you want to hang your herbs on a hanger, wrap till it's almost tight and with the last wrap, you will basically wrap over the hanger and hook it onto the bottom of stems (which is now the top). You can get about 2 bunches of herbs on 1 plastic hanger depending on how bushy they are.

Leave in this cool, dark space for a minimum of  2 weeks. By hanging your herbs upside down, you are letting the essential oils go to it's head and dry there (kind of like standing on your head where you get the rush of blood going to your head). It is not necessary to place a bag over the herbs, nothing will fall (unless someone is rough with it).

After 2 weeks, you can remove the herbs from their stems and store for future use. This is a very easy way to dry your herbs and it really doesn't take much to do. You can do this technique with any herbs or flowers that you want to preserve. I've even taken a whole flower arrangement that was almost at the end of its life, in its container (with no water in it), wrapped it securely, turned it upside down and left it for 2 weeks. It turned out awesome. No pics unfortunately, this was years ago and it had to be thrown out because it was falling apart. But you see how easy it is to dry your herbs and flowers to make them last as long as you need them.

Here are some pics of herbs and flowers that I have dried:





Mother's Day Bouquet

Have fun drying!!

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