A simple, inexpensive way to enjoy your herbs beyond the growing season is to dry them. When talking about herbs, I am referring to the leaves of certain plants that are typically green in color. Spices, on the other hand are the flowers, fruit, seeds and are typically more pungent than herbs.
The best flavor, without question, comes from freshly picked herbs, however there is always an abundance that you cannot use in season. So, drying your herbs is the next best thing!
When do I harvest my herbs?
To get the best flavor from herbs you need to harvest them at the appropriate time. The most brilliant flavor comes from herbs harvested before they flower. IF you use a lot of freshly picked herbs, they may never flower. Herbs can become bitter in taste if you pick while they are flowering.
Here are a few quick steps to Harvesting and Drying Herbs
1. Cut healthy branches from your herb plant.
2. Discard any yellowed leaves or damaged leaves. They will have bitter flavor and are not worth saving.
3. Shake out the branches to remove any insects and soil.
4. Do not wash the stems
5. Tie several branches together with twine or a rubber band. Tie approximately 1 inch from the bottom of the stems. 6. Place your herbs in a paper sac, stem side up. Secure the bag shut and poke several holes in your paper sac for ventilation.
7. Hang the bag by up by a clothes pin and allow to dry.
Once your herbs are dry enough to crumble, they are ready to be stored. Keep herbs in an air tight container, mason jar or a zippered bag.
During the Spring season, Village Green has a huge selection of fresh herb plants! Plant your herb garden now, and enjoy the herbs you have grown all year long!