Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Preserving: Raising and Drying Herbs

Winter at the cabin.
Most herbs are perennial in my garden. We get frost and a little snow, but I've been lucky to have the majority of them last from year to year.

To contain herbs and keep them from spreading throughout my limited garden space, I plant them in plastic pots in the ground. I also grow herbs in containers on the cabin deck.

Herbs in pots along the edge of the float garden beds.

I start most of my herbs from seed including basil, thyme, parsley, sage, dill and cilantro. I purchased starts for rosemary and mint that are now well established.

Herbs, chard and onions hanging to dry.
I pick fresh herbs from spring to fall. Even in winter I can pick some, but it’s handy to have dried herbs in the kitchen.

When I trim herbs back, I save the best for drying. Here’s my simplified method.


Drying Herbs
  1. Cut and keep herbs that have little or no evidence of damage.
  2. Wash the cuttings in fresh water.
  3. Hang upside down or place small cuttings on cookie sheets to dry.
  4. Once dry, remove leaves from the stems and spread them in a thin layer on cookie sheets.
  5. Place the cookie sheets in a warm dry room away from sunlight.
  6. Stir the leaves daily until thoroughly dry.
  7. Depending on the size of the dried leaves, either package whole or cut them into smaller pieces.
  8. Store dried herbs in airtight glass or plastic containers. 
I like to combine my craft painting with dried herb storage.

Hand painted herb containers.

I save small jars and empty spice containers. I paint 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.

http://powellriverbooks.blogspot.com/search/label/Preserving
For more preserving tips click here.

Do you grow and dry herbs? Let us know any tips you've learned. -- Margy

22 comments:

  1. I have a great lack of green fingers (and mind) but I do admire your handyness and creativity

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)
    http://melodymusic.nl/23-H

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    1. I have a selective black thumb. Some things work out, and others not so much. - Margy

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  2. Replies
    1. I love having fresh herbs, but in winter not everything is available. Plus, having a mix is so easy for soups and stews. - Margy

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  3. Love your floating garden, how cool

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    1. Thanks. It works out really well for things like lettuce, kale, carrots and beets. - Margy

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  4. I save small jars too for herbs and spices. I don't know why I haven't thought of making permanent labels. I tape post-its on the bottles. lol

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    1. Sometimes I just write a new name on front, but some labels were hard to modify. - Margy

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  5. Growing your own herbs - wonderful!
    A few years ago I had rosemary and basil that I used fresh. Never tried drying them. Maybe I will plant herbs again in the Spring
    Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Most of the time I dry herbs after trimming the plants back. That way I get the best of both kinds. - Margy

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  6. I'm having a salad full of cilantro today for lunch. Thank God for herbs.

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    1. My cilantro has reseeded itself and is doing quite well now that the weather is cooler. - Margy

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  7. How wonderful ~ lovely and healthy herbs! Great for H!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

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    1. They do make a lovely garden addition. Most flower and attract pollinators as well. - Margy

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  8. I like herbs too. There are mint, rosemary, lemon balm, thyme in our garden, but my favourites are the parsley and the chives. :-)
    Have a lovely week!

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    1. This is the first year that chives have done well for me. Mint is a challenge for me. It keeps escaping from it's pot and tries to take over one of my float garden beds. - Margy

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  9. Thanks for contributing to the Homestead Blog Hop, hope to see you again next Wednesday!

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    1. Thanks for hosting the blog hop. I enjoy sharing when I can. - Margy

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  10. I would venture to guess that Margy's Mix would be a welcome gift for friends or family members!! Your special jars are a great way to package your own herbs.

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    1. I guess it would make a nice present. I haven't tried that yet. - Margy

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  11. Keeping the plants in the plastic pots in the ground sounds like a brilliant idea. Great idea to dry and preserve them for future use. I grew some herbs this year but it’s my first time. They can’t survive up here with our cold temps. Thank you for joining our Garden Party!

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    1. Only my most hardy herbs overwinter outdoors. Sometimes I wish it would kill my mint but no luck. - Margy

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy