Green Life – how to dry herbs

by Jen in garden,Green life,outside

One thing I truly miss in the winter is getting into my garden. I’m not saying that we don’t go outside in the winter, but I miss the work of growing and harvesting food and flowers. With frosty nights arriving I know that sadly, it is time to shut down the gardens. I have already pulled out the cucumber vine and the beans have stopped producing. The tomatoes have a few green fruits still hanging on and my swiss chard is still thriving…a great fall weather veggie. It is hard for me to believe that the little herb seeds I planted so long ago in egg cartons are now ready to be harvested. One of the easiest ways to use herbs is by drying them…but how? I brought my daughters into the garden and we set to work.

You will need
kitchen twine
large tray
salad spinner
large Ziploc bag
glass storage jar
1. start by cutting back your thyme plant (or herb of choice), pile on a large tray and bring indoors HOT TIP when laying the cut herbs on the tray be sure to keep them all facing the same direction – making it easier to bundle in a moment
harvest thyme
2. rinse herbs under water and spin in a salad spinner to dry

3. find the best location to dry your herbs…dry, out of the direct sun, a location that is out of the way so the herbs won’t be disturbed – I chose over the kitchen sink in our basement

4. suspend the kitchen twine between two screws or hooks…we installed 2 screws and painted them white so they would not be noticeable when they are not in use
hook in wall
5. create a pile of cut pieces of twine, approximately 6″ long
cutting twine
6. bundle handfuls of thyme and wrap tightly with twine, leaving long piece of twine hanging 
tying up thyme
7. loop and knot the long hanging pieces of twine, on each bundle, around the suspended piece of twine
hanging up thyme
8. try not to bunch them together on the string…hang undisturbed for about one week
hanging herb bundles
9. once the branches are dry and crunchy, cut the loops off the suspended twine and place one bundle inside a large Ziploc bag
dry herbs in bag

10. with the herb bundle in the bag rub the bag and watch the leaves fall off the branches (the girls especially loved this step)

kids rolling herbs
11. open the bag, remove the branches and dump the leaves into the storage jar
jar of dried thyme

Every step of this process I did with my daughters. We had a lot of fun. We filled over 1 small mason jar with dry leaves. This will last our family until next spring…or we are thinking about using our dried herbs in some sort of Christmas presents. Now that our thyme is dried we are hanging up our oregano. We are also going to attempt to transplant our rosemary plant and bring it indoors for the winter. Do you have any tips for bringing herbs indoors? I’ve never done this before…fingers crossed.

Suzie Thomas November 4, 2011 at 4:07 am

This is the sink that is capable to perform the tasks that the other sinks are too small for. In some cases the laundry is going to be cramped for space but it should always be possible to at least include a corner utility sink somewhere in the room.

Tat @ Mum in search November 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I used to do things like this with my Grandma when we were younger. We don’t have a garden at the moment, but maybe one day…

Brooke @ Let Kids Create November 5, 2011 at 1:42 am

I don’t know why I never thought to dry my herbs before. Probably because I didn’t know how. Thanks for the tutorial – this will come in handy for next year.

Thanks for sharing this on Monday Madness!

Mama Pea Pod November 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

oooh, that must make your house smell just wonderful!

Kristi @ Creative Connections for Kids November 6, 2011 at 8:37 am

I am so glad you shared how to do this. I have herbs, but haven’t tried drying them. Pinning this for future reference. Thank you! Kristi

Beth ( November 6, 2011 at 10:55 am

Very cool! I always grow herbs & wish I had room to keep growing them inside in the winter. Now I know how to dry them myself for the winter. Thanks! I wanted to invite you to come link up at TGIF Linky Party –
Beth =-)

Laura @Art For Little Hands November 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I haven’t done much with herbs. I wish I knew more. I like the smell and look of them.

thanks for sharing with Monday Madness. Hope you come back tomorrow.

Rebekah November 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Lovely! I wish our oregano and thyme had survived our brutal summer. I am taking down notes for next year when I hope we have better luck.

Emma @ScienceSparks November 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

oooh fantastic! what a great Christmas present to give someone!

Thanks for linking to Science sparks

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