Herb Harvest

Preparing Dried Herbs

The last couple days I’ve taken some time to process the herbs I had dried, and harvest a new batch.

I took down the herbs I’d previously dried, untied them and in batches I went about grinding them up. This first batch included mint, catnip, rosemary, and two types of oregano which I combined. I ran my hand along the stems of each and pulled all the leaves off, depositing them into a bowl. I discarded the stems. I then used our handy herb mill and ground up the leaves of each; cleaning everything off between herb types to minimize “cross-pollination” of herbs.

Once ground down, I used a funnel to put the herbs into 4 oz. round glass jars. It was amazing, I almost filled a whole jar with mint alone.

I ripped the leaves off and tossed the stems.

I ripped the leaves off and tossed the stems.

using an herb mill to grind dried herbs down.

using an herb mill to grind dried herbs down.

I used a funnel to put the herbs in glass jars.

I used a funnel to put the herbs in glass jars.

herbs-in-jar

Mint, catnip, oregano, and rosemary in 4 oz. jars. It didn't take much to yield this much dried herbs.

Mint, catnip, oregano, and rosemary in 4 oz. jars. It didn’t take much to yield this much dried herbs.

Picking And Drying More Herbs

I was excited I ran out the next day and harvested more herbs. I learned you’re supposed to harvest in the morning, so I’ll remember that next time. This week harvesting in late afternoon sufficed as far as I was concerned. Here are some garden and harvest pics:

Corn is growing.

Corn is growing.

Harvesting herbs.

Harvesting herbs.

This is yesterday's harvest. There's more where this came from. I bet I'll have about six jars worth of dried herbs.

This is yesterday’s harvest. There’s more where this came from. I bet I’ll have about six jars worth of dried herbs. (Yes I misspelled oregano, sue me.)

I sorted all the herbs I harvested. I then washed them all with cold water and set them out to dry a little. As they were drying I tied them in bunches, about six (6) stems per bunch, about eight inches apart – basically creating a clothes line of herb bundles. I then hung them up in my studio to dry. Some of the smaller bundles or leaf only herbs (no stem) like sage, I used a drying rack.

A drying rack for chives, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

A drying rack for chives, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

I then used towels to get as much moisture off of the herbs as I could. In the studio I strung them up and now we wait, probably about a week for them to dry out. I’m drying these herbs right now:

  • rosemary
  • sage
  • thyme
  • chives
  • italian parsley
  • catnip
  • mint
  • spicy oregano
  • oregano
  • french tarragon
  • dill
  • basil

Some of these herbs, my herb book says don’t dry well: parsley and basil for example. But I’m going to experiment because I can have only so many herbs in my freezer. Throughout the process the kitties were very attentive – they can tell there’s copious amounts of catnip in camp.

 

Basil and catnip up top, other herbs below. I try to space them so they don't intermingle too much. Not sure if they'll transfer scent, oils or properties.

Basil and catnip up top, other herbs below. I try to space them so they don’t intermingle too much. Not sure if they’ll transfer scent, oils or properties.

Next up we’ll be extracting honey. Suffice to say if you’re on our Christmas list you might get some homegrown goodies this year. Actually we just made our first barter trade: I exchanged veggies for beer with a friend of mine that does home brewing. I like the idea of living off the land and trading what we grow for other things we want or need.

I did look at the lone surviving peach today and it’s starting to turn yellow. It’s not very big though. We shall see.

Okay, here are some flower and pollinator photos for you. Pick up a good nature sighting after the pics….

Baby Bunnies

Dixon was looking out the window curiously the other evening. So I got off the couch and looked out the window, and what did I see but literally a pile of rabbits! A mama bunny was nursing a whole litter of baby bunnies outside the family room window. It was so neat. Then they all scattered so we had adult and baby bunnies running everywhere. I wasn’t able to get any good photos. Sorry. But it was super cute. And of course now my pepper plants have more mouths to feed.

What baby animals have you seen this year?

Are you growing herbs?

Do you have any herb preserving tips?

Share below in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “Herb Harvest

  1. I have Italian flat and curly parsley, basil, oregano, chives, garlic chives, cilantro, sage, spearmint, peppermint, lemon mint, mountain mint, ode cologne mint. I think that’s all. I use them fresh and never thought about drying them. Did you build your drying rack?

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