If someone asked you what your favorite food was, what would you tell them?
**You can also freeze herbs into ice cubes using olive oil instead of water, if desired.
I’m sure you all have been waiting with baited breath for the second installment of how to grow and dry your own herbs….I know I have 😉
|Clockwise from top left – Oregano, Basil, Sage, Purple Basil, Parsley and Thyme.|
Last time we talked about how to harvest and dry your herbs. The process is so easy – the ‘air’ does most of the work for you.
|Jars of Oregano, Thyme and Oregano|
I grow basil, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme in my garden. To be honest, I don’t use a lot of fresh herbs and I really should. I tend to use dried herbs instead.
While I do like to use dried herbs when I cook – I don’t like to pay $3+ dollars for a tiny container. So, instead of buying dried herbs
at the grocery store – I make my own.
It is very easy to dry herbs and they make great and inexpensive gifts. Herbs are best when they are air-dried – which is the method that retains their flavor best.
– Pick your herbs in the morning and wash and dry them. Discard any discolored leaves.
– Using string or twine, tie your herbs into small bundles (this is especially important for basil, which as lots of moisture in its leaves). Wrap the string a few times around each bundle to keep them from falling out as they dry.
|Bundles of Oregano|
Tie each bundle to a coat hanger.
|Bundles of Oregano and Sage|
Herbs need to hung indoors to dry. Hang them in an area out of
the sun in an area with good air circulation – I used our garage.
You can hang them from a clothes rack that you use for drying your clothes, or you can tie them from almost anything. Laying herbs on paper towels and placing them by a de-humidifier to dry is another method to dry herbs.
**To protect your herbs from dust, you can place paper lunch
bags over each bundle – to do this make a hole in the bottom of each lunch bag and thread the cotton string through it before attaching the string to whatever you are hanging your herbs from. It is okay if the herbs stick out the bottom of the bag – it’s the top which need protection from dust.
Depending on where you live, drying herbs can take as little as a week in a dry climate up to 4 weeks in more humid climates.
Come back for “Part Two” to see how I how to crush and store dried herbs.
Do you like to use fresh herbs when you cook?
What if you could just step outside your door and snip some herbs without having to go to the store?
Have you seen how expensive fresh herbs are at the supermarket by the way?
A few days ago, when I taped some “How To” gardening segments, I was asked to do one on how to plant a container herb garden.
|Purple Basil (Not the healthiest specimen, but it was the only one they had – it was over-watered at the nursery).|
Well, I have to admit, that in the past, I did not truly understand the allure of vegetable gardening. Sure, I had to grow my own plot of vegetables in college for my horticulture class – but that was for a grade. I also dutifully helped people create their own gardens, but I never had one for myself.
That was then, and this is now….I am completely hooked on vegetable gardening! Each morning, I go out to see how my plants are doing and the kids hurry home for school and check to see if there have been any changes. Their favorite thing to do is to find the newly ripened cherry tomatoes to eat – they never make it to our salads.
It has been six weeks since we planted our seeds directly in the ground and you can read about it in my earlier post, “A Vegetable Garden – Completed” if you like.