Cathy Isom has some tips on how to preserve all of those fresh herbs that you grow. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
If you grow your own fresh herbs, cook with them, but find that you have way more than you can eat and keep. Then you may want to try your hand at drying them. After all, growing and drying your own herbs is much cheaper than buying them in the store. And, you’re also getting quality along with quantity, as many store-bought herbs have been sprayed with toxic pesticides.
Look for fresh organic herbs at your local farmer’s market. When drying your own herbs, make sure to pick them before they get overgrown and start flowering. Wash them well or gently shake them to remove any residual dirt or dust.
Herbs that have a lower moisture content such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, and sage can be air-dried. Others may need to be dried in a dehydrator oven to prevent molding.
Divide the herbs into small batches (about 3-6 branches) and bind them together with twine or twist ties at the sturdiest bottom stems and the main stem. Hang the stems upside down in a dry, dark place with some air circulation. Sunlight will reduce the color and flavor of the herb so try to keep them out of direct sun. Air-dried herbs should be ready in a few weeks, or when they become brittle. Simply remove the dry leaves from the stems and store them in a small airtight container, such as a Mason jar, or plastic baggie.
To keep dried herbs fresher longer, store them in a cool, dry place away from steam and sunlight. They should last for about 6 months.
I’m Cathy Isom…