The temperatures outside are falling and we are nearing the end of the growing season. As Fall comes creeping in it’s time to harvest all that we can from the garden before it’s too late. There are many ways to preserve herbs and today I’m going to show you two ways, hanging them up and laying them out flat to dry. These methods are both simple and effective. You don’t need any fancy food dehydrators or even an oven at all!
Hanging herbs to dry works best for herbs with woody stems like lavender, rosemary and thyme. Herbs with higher moisture content such as mint dry better if the leaves are spread out flat. If you hang them up in bunches you risk mold growth. We’ll get to the layering method in a moment, but first lets go over how to successfully hang your herbs to dry.
Once you pick your herbs from the garden give them a good rinse and wash off any dirt or dust. Lay them out flat until the moisture evaporates, then tie them up in bunches and hang in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight. I hung mine in the laundry room. It smells pretty good in there right now!
Another way to dry your herbs is to lie them out flat. This works well with herbs from the mint family and sage. Give the herbs a rinse, pick off the leaves individually and lay them out on a cookie sheet covered with paper towels. Cover the leaves with another paper towel. You can layer them up to five stacks high. Store in a dry dark place.
Once the herbs are all dried out you can grind them up in a clean coffee grinder and store in little glass jars. You’ll have herbs ready for seasonings and tea all winter long!