This is the first year we started all our plants for the garden from seeds – flowers, veggies and even our herbs. The herbs have been doing so good. I have most of them in pots on the deck. Having them close to the front door makes it more likely we will run out and pick some to use in whatever we are making. It has been fun deciding which herbs go best with what dishes. Fresh herbs are so flavorful! Some of them are winding down now and starting to flower like the dill and cilantro. I’ve started more basil, dill and cilantro to replace them as they finish up.
I love to read other blogs and get ideas and inspiration for things we can be doing to become more self-reliant, however small of a step it may be. I was reading Homestead Dreamer’s post on drying herbs and decided that we should try to do some of that this year since the plants are doing so well. She shares three ways to dry your herbs. We have a little dehydrator, so I will use that method. How great it will be to use dried herbs we grew ourselves throughout the year. To know how they were grown, where they came from, and for them to be so fresh – all great reasons to dry our own herbs.
I went out and gathered up a bunch of herbs: basil, thyme, oregano, sage, golden oregano, parsley and more sage. All were grown from seed this year except one of the sage plants and the golden oregano. We bought those plants last year and they surprisingly overwintered for us. Rod’s favorite herb is sage so I will make sure we have lots of that one! I put one type of herb on each tray of the dehydrator, spreading them out as much as I could to help with airflow.
My dehydrator has a temperature dial, so I set it to the herb setting. I set it up on the table and checked in on it every few hours. As one herb would dry, I would remove it. But some seemed to be taking forever to dry. Hmmm… Are those sage leaves ever going to get dry? I did a little more reading and found that if you live in a humid area (yes, that’s us) that you should raise the temp a little. So I did. That did the trick. Everything was dry in three days. It wouldn’t have taken that long if I had started out at the higher temperature. They should have been done in 4 hours. Oops! Oh, well, now I know for next time!
I was trying to think of what jars I was going to use to store them in. Then I remembered I had some cute little jars in my craft room that I had bought to make candles in. They would be perfect! And I have lots of them. I made some little labels on the computer so I don’t forget which is which. Now I just need to reorganize the spice cabinet and get them all put away.