By harvesting and preserving herbs in the summer you will have a supply for the dark days. It is not difficult, but first you have to grow them!
Half of our ‘herb patch’. Mint, rosemary, lemongrass,
parsley, sage, chives, lemon balm, borage, etc.
Traditionally you must pick the herbs "whilst the morning dew is still on them" and preferably just before they flower.
Then wash them well to remove the ‘livestock’ and dust.
Optionally, if the leaves are large, strip them from the stems, otherwise leave them on, they are easier to remove later.
Spread them on a dehydrator tray or if drying naturally a sheet of paper or clean cloth.
Dry them! Two to ten hours at 40˚ Celsius (100˚ Fahrenheit, 32˚ Reaumur). Higher temperatures will evaporate the oils in the plant which are the very things that make the herb worth preserving! Don’t rush.
(This is our Swiss Stockli ten tray dehydrator)
When ready the leaves will be green, crisp and powder easily. If they are browned they are burnt and should be discarded.
Rub them through the tray or if drying in the sun rub between the hands or through a sieve.
Remove any pieces of stalk that have survived.
Store in small airtight containers.
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