Monday, June 17, 2013

Drying Herbs: Flowers and Leaves

Throughout the summer season when I grow my herbs outdoors I will harvest the leaves and flowers that are needed for my crafts and for my culinary recipes.  When summer ends and the cooler season arrive it symbolizes that fall and winter will soon be here and then I will harvest the stems of my herbs to be dried so I can enjoy the herbs throughout the winter season.

Drying the herbs is necessary for storage throughout the winter season.  The water that is concentrated in the plants must be removed from the leaves and stems.  

The best method for drying herb flowers, stems and leaves is to cut the stem close to the soil line.  Then separate the herbs by bundling the stems together.  Tie them loosely with ribbon or string and hang them in an airy, dry, dust free room that has no sunlight.  

Label the herbs to indicate the type of bundle.  The herbs that are hanging will dry this way in approximately a week.

Another method for drying herbs is to lay them flat on newspaper in an airy room that is dust free, dry and has no sunlight.  It is best to remove the leaves from the stems and lay them flat on the newspaper. Turn the leaves daily so that they dry evenly.   

Dry herbs for winter usage on a screen; I use my window screen to dry herbs. In order to dry herbs on the screen you will have to elevate the screen so there is air flow on all sides.   Remove the leaves and flowers from the herbs and lie flat on the screen.  Turn the leaves daily to evenly dry.

View this video to learn how to winter store mint leaves.

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