Drying Herbs

This is only the second year that I have grown herbs. Why I haven't in the past, I don't know. The area of my garden that I grow these is by far my most favorite area to visit. The blend of fragrances the herb variety puts off is incredibly awesome.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. 

So, being the second year my herbs have graced my garden, they are taking over. In particular the Thyme and Sage.  They are becoming selfish with their designated space. Decided to push others out of their way so they could continue to grow. Well beyond the manageable size that will allow me to keep them thinned out by my usage and the amount that I give away.  I had to do something to these garden bullies. I had to thin them out.  My other herbs were struggling for space, for sunlight, it was a herb saving move.

I finally had the opportunity to thin them out today. Not wanting any of it to go to waste, I decided to dry what I picked.  This is new to me...never dried herbs before, so I read up on the process.

Seems like hanging to dry most likely was the easiest route to go.  But, I received a very nice food dehydrator for my birthday last year that I have to put to good use.  The preparation began.  Did you know that you  must remove the Thyme leaves from the stems before you dry them.  According to my dehydrator manual you do. Had I known this prior to thinning out my herbs, I would have picked 1/2 the amount.  Thank goodness for my meticulous and ever so helpful 3 year old.  After 2 hours of work, I still have about 1/2 a bag left...which I will hang and dry.

Sage on the other hand wasn't as difficult.  Thick stems and larger leaves made them easy to prepare.  I think I will use the sage to make tea among other things.  

Anyway, the herbs are in my dehydrator drying away. I hope my first try at drying herbs is successful. Something tells me that if it isn't, I will have plenty to experiment with throughout the summer. 
2 Responses
  1. Laura Says:

    I have to look into how to dry herbs. I hung some last year, but I think I did it wrong. Regardless it was a disaster. Try try again. Enjoy the tea!

  2. Laura, I am still a novice. The dehydrator didn't function like I expected it to. The manual stated to dry the herbs for 1-3 hours at 95 degrees. Aprox. 8 ours later, I think they are finally done. I'm thinking the instructions gave the drying time for one tray and I did 4.

    I fell in love with the sage tea. I did add a little bit of honey for sweetness which was perfect. I think it may become a daily ritual.

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