The intense perfumes of the wild herbs as we trod them underfoot made us feel almost drunk. – Jacqueline du Pre
When you dry homegrown herbs it doesn’t have to be difficult. I have found a way that works for me that is quite simple and painless. Of course, I also have a handy husband to make Home Made Drying Frames for me. I would have been able to figure it out for myself eventually, but don’t tell him that. I prefer to let him keep his illusions. If you want to build your own frames, Tim has written down all the instructions and I have taken a few pictures to get you started. We picked a very original name for them, Home Made Drying Frames. See what I mean, original right? The nice thing about these Home Made Drying Frames is the ability to use them over and over again. There Frames will last for years.
Dry Homegrown Herbs
- Wash your herbs and remove leaves from stems, discard stems.
- Pick out any discolored or bruised leaves and discard.
- Place leaves on frame leaving enough room in between leaves for air to circulate.
- Cover with fine mesh gauze (or cheesecloth) and place in cool dry area until leaves are dry. Usually crisp to the touch.
- Remove leaves and place in bowl. Gently break leaves to desired size.
- Place in container and store out of sunlight.
- Several frames can be made and stacked on top of one another. Cover only the top frame with fine mesh gauze.
- When drying herbs keep them out of direct sunlight. Herbs will loose color and flavor when they are left in the sun.
- Make sure to label your herbs. Herbs look a lot alike when dried and it doesn’t take long before you will find yourself asking “is this oregano or is this parsley?”
- Date your herbs. For best quality and taste herbs should last about 6 months. They may last longer but just about the time quality is deteriorating, fresh herbs will be popping up in your garden.