herb drying

drying herbs
drying herbs

The process of drying herbs is quite straightforward, so this post will be too. This was my first attempt at drying my own herbs, and I learned a lot and thought I'd pass it along to you! 

Late fall/early winter is a somewhat awkward time for a gardener. I keep checking the weather trying to decide when to migrate my children in from frost's nasty bite. But then, nyc decides to have weird heat flashes and bouts with 80 degrees. My little terrace garden is still blooming - I picked tomatoes just yesterday. 

According to my research, some herbs are good to stay out during the cold. I prefer to keep them growing year round, so I already have a window sill ready for them. That being said, it's never a bad idea to have some dried herbs on hand for seasoning/leaf teas/pretty window decor; what have you. 

I snipped a small handful of each and after tying some twine around them, hung them in my kitchen window to let the sun do it's worst. It only took a week to have them nice and dehydrated. I realized a little too late that some herbs are more useful fresh vs. dry. (pay no mind to which herbs are in my pictures ;) 

Here's the basic summary from a few garden blogs I follow:

Best Fresh: basil, parsly, cilantro, mint

*** If you do have fresh herbs you'd like to preserve fresh - FREEZE THEM! Keep them in a glass container and just preserve that way. 

Great Dry: bay, celery, chervil, dill, geranium, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lovage, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, summer savory, tarragon, thyme

Best ways to Dry: 

Hanging Rack: looks pretty and lets you dry large bunches - for the gardener.

Dehydrator: works like a charm for herbs, fruit or anything else you'd like dried in a jiffy.

Oven Method: place herbs on bake sheet- on top of cheese cloth to prevent burning (preferably on rack to aid circulation) and cook at low heat (180 degrees) for 2-3 hours

The Good Ol' Fashioned Sun: she'll do the trick! Whether you leave them out on a drying screen or, like me, string them across the window - the rays will work their magic. 

Let me know what you use your dried herbs for!

herb garden
kitchen herbs
drying herbs
how to dry herbs
how to dry herbs