One of the things that’s perennial in my floating garden is herbs. We get frost and even a little snow, but I have been lucky to have the majority of my herbs last from year to year.
To contain the herbs and keep them from spreading throughout my limited garden space, I planted them in plastic pots sunk into the ground. The majority of my herbs were started from seed. These include basil, thyme, parsley (curly leaf and Italian), sage and savory. I also purchased starts for rosemary and mint that are now well established.
I pick fresh herbs from spring to fall. Even in the dead of winter I can get a few stems to use. But it’s handy to have some dried herbs in my kitchen. When I trim my herbs back I save the best stems for drying. Here’s my simplified method.
Cut and keep herbs that have little or no evidence of damage.
- Wash the cuttings in fresh water and place them on cookie sheets to dry.
- Once dry, remove the leaves from the stems and spread them in a thin layer back on cookie sheets.
- Place the cookie sheets in a warm dry room away from sunlight.
- Stir the leaves daily until thoroughly dry.
- Depending on the size of the dried leaves, either package whole or cut them into smaller pieces.
- Some herbs such as rosemary are easier to cut before drying.
- Store the dried herbs in airtight glass or plastic containers.
I like to combine my craft painting with dried herb storage. I save small jars and empty spice containers. I paint new labels to match the dried herbs I have to store. Sometimes a batch of herbs isn’t large enough to store as a single item. When that happens, it becomes a part of Margy’s Mix. I use my special blend in soups and stews as a flavourful seasoning.
Do you grow and dry herbs? Let us know any tips you have learned. -- Margy