Herbs forum: Drying Herbs?

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Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
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HoosierHarvester
Nov 12, 2015 8:57 AM CST
So do you dry and store herbs? If so, which ones, and what is your process?

I don't want to purchase a dehydrator, though I wouldn't mind having one. Although I've grown several culinary herbs for quite a few years, I really didn't use them much to cook with. But that is changing.

So, I cut and banded a bunch of standard thyme, oregano, and sweet Italian basil. I actually hung the bunches on my upper kitchen cabinet doors using yarn. I had given my mom a large bunch of oregano and she ended up tossing it because leaving it hanging, it got very dusty, so she thought.

So I might back up here. Before hanging, I rinsed the bunches and shook off the excess water.

After a few weeks, I placed the whole bunches in gallon size zipper freezer bags in hopes of keeping fresher and clean. I also placed a piece of paper towel in the bag in case there was still a lot of moisture unknown to me.

After about 4 weeks (*before* the bunches were placed in a freezer bag), when they felt fairly crispy and dried, I needed to use each. I was hoping to crumble them up, the leaves (after having tried to strip them off of the stems), between my thumb and first two fingers in a rubbing type motion. But this didn't happen very well. The pieces tended to remain large, which I didn't like. Some folks may like big pieces of herbs like that, but I prefer the tiny pieces like are in the bottle when store purchased.

I would like to finish processing the herbs where the are all ready to use, and place in small jars. Do folks use a chopper or something to chop up the herbs in tiny pieces? Are stems used also, or just the leaves? (Thyme has such tiny little leaves.)

Thanks.
[Last edited by HoosierHarvester - Nov 12, 2015 9:00 AM (+)]
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Delaware (Zone 7b)
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gardeningal
Nov 14, 2015 9:46 PM CST
I don't own a dehydrator either.
I have used the same methods you described to dry and save herbs. It's all I do.
At the moment I'm not doing anything at all with herbs......I do miss them.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Mindy03
Nov 15, 2015 8:39 AM CST
I can't help you with drying in bunches like that. I dry mine in a single layer on plastic canvas trays I made for the purpose.
They dry quicker that way since air gets through from all sides
Depending on size of leaves they are usually dry in 2-7 days
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Sep 23, 2018 12:58 PM CST
Bump

It is that time of year again what are you drying or have dried for the winter?

Last week cleared all my old glass jars for fresh dried herbs

Still need to cut and dry many this week lemongrass , sage , more lemon balm and mint.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
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Mindy03
Sep 24, 2018 6:24 AM CST
I'm waiting for it to stop raining here
But i plan to dry lemon balm, spearmint, peppermint. Pennyroyal if i can find it in the other mints. May dry some comfrey leaves. Waiting for our first frost to gather roots of butterfly weed, comfrey, black eyed Susan
Live already dried lemon balm but need some more i will be drying some more rosemary as i use a lot of that herb
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Oct 3, 2018 6:04 PM CST
I've dried marjoram, oregano and parsley. Will be doing some pineapple sage and lemongrass soon. Actually, I usually freeze my lemongrass--seems to keep the flavor better than drying
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Oct 8, 2018 1:44 PM CST
Hmmmm, for drying plants I recall days spent in the hayfields. A bright summer day with dry humidity and a bit of Okla breezes made the best, brightest non moldy plants.
I don't do bunches, dehydrators, or ovens. If the leaves don't crumble you possibly dont have them dry enough, or the natural oils are heavy. I wash, pat dry, and depending on the herb, either string them up or lay them on a paper towel with the cut end higher than the growing end- these are tucked under a shelf to protect them from cat. Dust is kept off because there is a fan circulating air conditiond air around the room.
The dog brought me his frisbee and I gathered Hilltop oregano as it began to rain...
Thumb of 2018-10-08/kittriana/780b18
Rosemary (prostate) ready to strip

Thumb of 2018-10-08/kittriana/95f3aa

Lesbos or Sweet Aussie basil drying, I wish it were brighter, but this will work and it is about ready to strip
Thumb of 2018-10-08/kittriana/2ef3e5
I have Tuscan Blue rosemary, peppermint, French thyme, and more prostate rosemary - the large leaf stuff needs more work to crumble

Thumb of 2018-10-08/kittriana/1d9efb

kitt

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