Saturday, September 4, 2010

Drying Herbs

On the far left, notice how a charming toddler has had a grand time helping Mommy by sorting herbs under the dining room table. Sweet girl!

This is just fine with me - one of my hopes for our children is that they will be at home with plants and gardening. I've been gardening since I could walk - and I remember how proud I was at age 5, watering my very own plot of flowers next to my playhouse.

All summer I've been tending basil, parsely, thyme and rosemary, clipping sprigs and stringing them up to dry. The picture below shows our basement stairwell, which I've made into a drying emporium!

Our gardening is all in containers this year, as we are in an apartment. We got the idea to use horse troughs for our gardening containers, and my husband installed the self-irrigating water system which was explained in a Mary Jane's Farm magazine from fall 2009. It is working extremely well and we're glad we've done it.

I don't have a ton of experience with drying herbs - last year I dried thyme and oregano, but not with great results. How do I know when the herb is completely dry and really safe to store? Does anyone have advice on this? Part of the problem I ran into with the oregano was mold growing in the leaves after I had (unbeknownst to myself at the time) stored it prematurely. I thought it was dry, but I was wrong.

Practice makes better, so I'm giving it another go this harvest season. Happy gardening!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, are way ahead of me on drying herbs. I've never tried that. I hope it works better with the Oregano this time around. I LOVE Mary Jane's Farm fact, I think I have the issue that mentions the horse trough are your veggies growing? I've never tried container gardening...but I live in an that would be perfect for me. I have a nice backporch that I could set some items up there...Oh, speak of MJF magazine..I need to renew my subscription!!! have a great Labor Day weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

    p.s. Loved hearing about your baby girl helping out with the herbs under the kitchen table :) :) :) So cute!!