If you’ve ever needed to buy herbs for a recipe and have run to the store you know the prices can often be a bit over the top. Growing an herb garden is the easiset type of garden I’ve grown. Many of them are perennial which makes for easy choosing in the spring. They only require full sun, and good water and soil to grow richly during the hot summer months. Some of them, like oregano and parsley, I’ve had still growing on Christmas day, and they begin to bloom again in early spring.
What to do in the in between time? Use the dried ones from the previous season right from the cupboard. No need to buy any.
Drying herbs is easy. I’ll list the steps and supplies below.
- Fresh herbs
- Twine or yarn
- A dry warm place to hang herbs.
- Cut a small bunch (handful) fresh herbs at their base (and ideally before they flower), leaving enough to allow plant to continue to grow. (I should note that with chives I cut fresh and freeze. I tried drying them and they tasted like grass, so I stuck them in the freezer.)
- Shake bunch to ensure bugs,weeds, grass, etc. fall out.
- Lay bunch of herbs on the table and cut a piece of twine or yarn approx. 9 inches long.
- Tie herbs into a bundle leaving majority of twine or yarn for hanging purposes.
- Hang them in a dry warm place leaving adequate room for air flow. I took down our kitchen curtain and hung a piece of thick yarn across the window.
- Herbs will be dry in approx. 2 weeks. I judge their “doneness” when they are crunchy to touch.
After herbs are dried…..
- Gather clean, dry jars and lids (this is a great way to use up those already sealed canning jar lids)
- Remove part of herb that you want to save. (for example chamomile only needs the flower at it’s peak; for mint, celery leaf, basil and oregano I use the leaves only; for sage, thyme, and parsley I keep the whole thing to crush or throw in a dish while it cooks)
- Place herbs in the jar, seal tightly and label. Dried herbs will keep until the end of time. Maybe not, but a really long time. I keep mine for a year and they are perfectly tasty.
Also, I NEED to mention these awesome little chalkboard labels I found. I used the round ones for the canning jars, but am linking to Amazon’s page of all different shapes. Man, I could use these on everything!