Wednesday, September 24, 2014

HARVEST: Air Drying Herbs

You can easily dry your herbs using materials found around your home. I recommend this method of drying for large batches, especially for woody stemmed plants. 


I have found that it's much easier to process large batches of herbs by air drying than by dehydrating, especially woody stemmed plants with small leaves like Thyme. Be advised though, air drying can take several weeks as opposed to a day in the dehydrator.

MATERIALS:

Coat Hanger
String (Thread/Yarn/Twine, etc)
Fresh Herbs, washed and dried

PROCEDURE:

Gather herbs together in small bunches  by the stems and tie together with string, leaving ends 5-6" long. Tie ends of string to the coat hanger, letting the bunches dangle freely. Hang the coathanger in a dry, ventilated place away from direct sunlight. Allow herbs to hang until leaves are completely dry and crumble easily. Strip leaves from stems and store whole in a glass jar in a cool, dark, dry place. They store well for at least a year, after which they will begin to lose some potency.

When you need to refill your pantry shaker, pour your dried herbs into a small blender or mortar/pestle and grind as needed.