In my garden, I grow a variety of herbs and edible flowers. I have big dreams for a culinary, medicinal and tea herb garden, but for now, I companion plant a variety in my veggie beds and under the fruit trees. Right now, most herbs are in peak season and the spring and summer edible flowers are in full bloom, and I make sure to dry a variety to enjoy year round.
Drying herbs is the my favorite way of preserving simply because its the easiest. There is no need for fancy equipment and it takes zero energy. Even if you don’t grow your own herbs, now is the best time to buy at the farmers market and put some away. Its remarkable how much better freshly dried herbs taste compared to the dusty crumbles of herbs you can buy at the grocery store.
How to Dry Herbs & Flowers for Culinary & Tea:
For large leafed-herbs, like basil, mint and lemon balm, snip off stems and tie the cut ends with twine. Hang upside down in a dry place away for direct sun, until they are dry and crisp- about 2 weeks. I use a kitchen window. Plus, it gives my home the added bonus of giving off the apothecary witch vibe. Then, strip the leaves off the stems and store in a glass jar.
For fine leafed herbs, like oregano and thyme, lay the sprigs out on a plate, tea-towel or fine mesh screen in a dry place out of direct sun. After a few days and the leaves feel crips, strip from the stems and store in a glass jar.
For flowers, I leave the blooms in a fine-mesh wire strainer or on a plate, in a dry place out of direct sun. I give the strainer a quick shake every day. If there is a large quantity, lay single layer on a tray. Once dry, store in a glass jar.
What I Drying
- lemon balm
- lemon verbena