On Second Thought
In my herb gardens, fall is approaching rapidly-most herbs have bolted (flowered and set seed heads) -signals the end of growing time to the plant. If the herb in question has flowered only, it can still be used fresh or dried and the flower crushed along with the rest of the herb. However, if seed has set, the essential oil content has stopped and the herb will be either tasteless or bitter...good for seed only.
To save the seed: cut the herb in long stalks, shake to remove any dust and insecta that may be hitchhiking. Gather into a small to medium size bunch and tie with a strong string...don't use rubber bands - this totally stops air circulation in the stalk and the drying process will be very slow. Hang in a dark area with good circulation until the leaf crumbles at the touch.
When completely dry, remove the string and crush the leaf...spread on a clean surface and allow to flat dry for 12 to 24 hours. (This is security for any leaf that might be not quite dry.) One half-dried leaf will cause the whole batch to mold and be rendered useless.
Once crushed...transfer to dark glass containers and store in a cool place away from light and heat.
Dried herbs have a shelf life of a year...safely.
Parsley, dill, cilantro, and thyme should be dried in a food dehydrator ....
Chives dry best in a microwave oven...they will retain the green color if dried quickly...otherwise they turn brown and not very tasty.
Now is the time to set the ground-work for your spring herb gardens...as well as veggie gardens.
Secure you spot now if you plan to attend.
Sage Hill Farms
32 Old Petersburg Pike
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