The Q&A Archives: Drying Herbs

Question: My wife would like to grow her own herbs. We find a lot of information on how to grow them, but nothing on how to dry them. Can you help?

Answer: Drying herbs is easy. Most gardeners cut a handful, tie the stems with string, and hang the herbs upside-down in a cool, airy place. You can also dry herbs in a microwave. Do small batches and leave them in for only 30 seconds at a time. Take them out and if they're crumbly when you roll a piece between your thumb and forefinger, they're dry. If not, put them back into the microwave for another 15 to 30 seconds. You can also lay your herbs out on a screen or paper towel and allow them to air dry. After drying, store herbs in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. When you harvest herbs, do it in the morning when they're freshest and most aromatic.

There are hundreds of books available on the topic of growing, harvesting, and using herbs. Peruse some bookstores and Internet reviews, and you'll find some gems for your library. Enjoy!

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