If you’ve never had fresh, homegrown herbs, I strongly encourage you to grow some. Most are super easy, and relatively maintenance free. The bulk of mine are perennials, meaning they come back year to year, making it easier for me to put more time and energy into my needy plants, like the tomatoes and celery.
The year we moved here and I started the garden, I think we spent less than $20 on herbs. Thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, spearmint, and bee balm. I also had some seeds for dill, basil and cilantro. We gained that back, easily by the second year. In fact, we have so much this year that I’m considering creating spice mixes for Christmas gifts.
Once your herbs take off, they will produce more than you can imagine. What to do with all that extra? Well, you could leave it on the plant, nothing gained, nothing lost, OR, you could dry them and quit buying it from the store. Why not, right? Not only will you have a fresher, more flavorful product, (they sit on the shelves for years!) you will be saving money.
Drying your own herbs is super easy. It can be done in the oven, dehydrator or just a dark corner. I started out, by necessity, using a dark corner. I could have used the oven, but I’ve heard heating them too high degrades the flavor. Not to mention it's summer and I avoid turning the oven on if at all possible.
hanging herbs to dry:
Simple as that. If you’re worried about dust accumulation, you can tie your herbs up inside paper bags. Personally, I don’t see the need. One final word of advice… A lot of herbs look alike once they are dry. Make sure you know which herb is which, even if you have to label the bunch. You don’t want to accidentally put mint in with your basil!
Kita , Caveman, Goomba, Gummy Bear and Peanut are native New Englanders, who are working to live more self sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.