Saturday, July 23, 2011

Some Helpful Tips for Herb Harvesting and Drying

Since nothing tastes better than fresh herbs when cooking, I make sure to plant a variety in my garden.   Harvesting your herbs should be done regularly to make sure those plants keep producing.  In fact, most herbs produce between two and three crops once you start to lose the fear of cutting the leaves too often. 

Did you know that the best time to cut plants for seasoning is before noon?  This is the best time because the dew has dried out, but before the sun had a chance to steal some of the plant's essential oils.

Soon, however, it will be time to start drying those herbs for use later on in the year.  You can use a dehydrator or simply follow this other easy method.  All I do is to wash my herbs first in cold water, then soak them for 20 minutes in a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to kill anything such as bugs that might cling to those leaves.  I rinse again with plain, cool water and drain through a colander. 

If I had something baking in the oven, I liked to insert a cookie sheet lined with those fresh herbs in afterwards to dry.  The fragrance of those herbs will permeate through your rooms in the process.

Fresh herbs will dry out even at ordinary room temperature on a plate or a cookie sheet, etc.

Herb gardening is fun and can save you money for already prepared varieties.  Another incentive to growing herbs is deer and other typical garden raiders do not pick on herbs when they come calling!

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