It seems like we’ve had quite a bit of success growing herbs this year. We have a variety of herbs and tons of basil and dill. There have been days at the farmers market when I’ve had for sell fresh basil, dried basil, and basil plants. Our dill has been going to seed so I’ve spent a lot of time collecting the seed not just so that we’ll have it, but also so it doesn’t drop seed all over the garden.
I love fresh basil so it’s easy to use but I’m always looking for ways to use our abundance of herbs. Today I’ve been working on drying a lot of the herbs that we have in the garden. I’ve gathered basil, thyme, lemon balm, mint, rosemary, and sage. This has also involved me figuring out what herbs we have in the garden, for example parsley and cilantro look quite similar. This website helped me tell the difference:http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2013/04/16/what-is-cilantro-what-is-parsley/.
There are multiple methods of drying herbs. My favorite is hanging because it is simple and does not require electricity like oven-drying. Here are a few steps for hanging herbs to dry:
– Harvest herbs after the sun has dried the dew
– Gather into bundles and secure with twine or a rubber band
– If you want, cover bundles with a brown paper bag with holes cut in it. This will protect the herbs from dust and sunlight while also maintaining airflow
– Hang in a dry, preferably dark place for about 2 weeks or until the leaves are brittle
– Crumble off the leaves, removing the stems, and store in an airtight container
This website is helpful for harvesting and preserving herbs: http://www.preservingyourharvest.com/herbs.html