Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Drying and Storing Herbs

If you haven’t been drying and storing herbs for use all winter long, you still have time!  Now’s the time to start, while herbs are still putting out new leaves (although barely) and it’s not cold enough out to damage them. (At this point, I’d hurry and cut some herbs to dry now.  As in, right now.  What are you waiting for?!)

I hang my fresh-cut herbs from the beam that divides my kitchen and family room.  I usually cut such large branches branches that I don’t need bundle them, but smaller branches can be loosely bound together with some jute twine for easy hanging.  The idea is to hang them in a dry place that has good ventilation, away from direct sunlight.  Note: It is not necessary to wash your herbs first, unless they are visibly dirty.

Once completely dry (it can take a few weeks), store the dried herbs in any kind of resalable container.  I like mason jars, but since I’m a spice-dropper (okay, I'm an everything-in-the-kitchen dropper), I use plastic containers, like Gladware or even Ziplock plastic bags.  This year I tried Ball freezer jars (for jam), which have screw-on plastic tops and are BPA free.  These seem like they’ll do a much better job of keeping my herbs fresh.  Or, fresh-er, since they’ll never be as fresh as they were the day I picked them from the garden.

I don’t know about you, but I love reaching into my spice cabinet during the winter months and pulling out herbs that I grew and dried myself.  I remember growing the plants and feel proud that I'm using what I've grown.  Drying my own herbs is resourceful and self-sufficient, easy to do and just tastes better.  There’s no good reason not to dry your own!


  1. Um, I'm in Australia, so I have a few months to learn this art form... but, (and I feel silly asking this but) which herbs do you dry? How long will they keep, and do you only start at the end of Autumn?

    Thanks, I am keen to learn! g

  2. Hi Grace,

    I dry basil, rosemary and oregano, but you can also dry thyme, parsley and just about any other herb. I prefer to freeze my parsley. If stored correctly, they will keep indefinitely (although I don't keep them around for more htan a year) and you can dry them all summer long. The topic just came up now because I realized I'm running out of time to harvest!


  3. Your herbs look wonderful, I love that they hang on a beam in your home, makes for very pretty decor, and probably smells wonderful! I grow some herbs, and have only dried my lavender, next year I hope to try more herbs. ~April

  4. Great post. I really enjoyed this. Must dry some herbs!

  5. This is a lot easier than I thought it would be, and more useful than freezing sometimes!

  6. Love how you have the Herbs hanging from the rafters.... I do dry my herbs but I cheat and buy parsley in bunches and dry them. Can't get enough to grow in our heat.

  7. So cool! I just planted an herb container garden (and posted about it). Thanks for the tips!

  8. You are featured at New Nostalgia's Anti-Procrastination Tuesday! Thanks for linking up!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...