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Drying Herbs from my Garden

Renting doesn’t give us the option of having a vegetable garden as we would like but there’s nothing stopping us from having potted herbs. We still have a few from last summer that I had brought in for the winter.

I neglected my herb plants this summer, with the exception for watering them, I did nothing. I have not use them, picked the dead pieces off them, picked and froze the leaves, NOTHING.

Drying Fresh Herbs

Drying Herbs – from my Garden

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drying herbs from my garden

I sat down one afternoon while the kids were splashing in their kiddie pool with my plants, scissors and water. Time to do something with them. I spent the money on the plants, and in my current spend no-money, waste no money state of mind, I wasn’t going to waste these plants. I think I paid 3-4 dollars for each, which I’m sure I could have spent on a bag of each of the dried herbs, but oh well.

I re-potted them into pots from last year with Brookland, and we’ve all been taking care of watering them. Great learning opportunity for taking care of plants.

So… back to my original spiel…

Instead of freezing them this time as I did last year, I decided to try drying them. I got to learn new things here too. Hubby has a dehydrator that my mother bought him a few years, I’ve never used it but he remembered that there were directions to dry herbs. We dug those out and I got it all going.

Drying Herbs - Straight from your garden

I have no patience, and I want to know if it is working… I want to lift the lid and poke at the leaves. It was a real struggle!

Going by the instructions that came with our dehydrator, the basil stayed in the shortest amount of time at 4 hours and the rest stayed in for 6 hours.

Drying Fresh Herbs

Once they were finished I removed them (carefully as they are fragile) into a bowl and chopping them up using herb scissors, you could use regular scissor, or if you want your herbs to be finer, a food processor.

Drying Fresh Herbs

I put my chopped up herbs in with the herbs I had bought, the only difference is mine is a slightly darker green. Job well done I think, and I got to play with Hubby’s toy/dehydrator.

I can’t wait for more to grow to the point that I have enough to dry again. This is perfect for us, they aren’t taking up any more room than the spices and herbs we already had in jars, and are ready to go, without going bad.

I just found these non-stick mesh screens for your dehydrator. Small leaves fall through the holes of the shelves easily, these screens make all the difference.

UPDATE:

You can dry your herbs in the microwave! I had no idea, I did test it, and it works… then my microwave decided to call it quits on me… not related, sorry.

So how do you do this? Simple. Wash and dry your herbs. Lay a piece of paper towel or a clean cloth on a plate, in a single layer, lay out your herbs, without the stems. Cover them with another piece of paper towel or clean cloth. Microwave for 1 minute. Shift them a bit on the paper/cloth, and microwave for another 20 seconds, repeatedly until dry.

My sage took 1 minute and 40 seconds total. Then I cut them up as I did above.

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