Harvesting Herbs for Cooking

Today I harvested some of our herbs from the garden. Sage, Oregano, Rosemary and Thyme were growing well. In fact my Thyme is flowering!

I cut the herbs early in the morning. Not so early that they were damp from dew but a bit later after they were quite dry.

Rosemary & Oregano
I love the smell as I cut them and placed them on paper towels inside my wicker basket.

Herbs on Paper Towels

Next I shook the herbs to get rid of dust and bits of debris, then I placed them all on paper towels. I wanted to be sure they were fairly clean and dry before bundling them for tying.

Herbs Drying on Racks
Herbs are tied together in small bundles, then hung upside down to dry on my antique towel rack in the kitchen.  You would not believe how good it smells in there!

The tea towel is placed to stop direct sunlight from hitting the herbs. It's a south facing window, not the best spot for drying herbs but it's the only place where I have the wooden racks that are perfect for drying.

When the herbs are completely dry I will place them in green glass containers and store them in a cool dark pantry for use in my cooking. 


Colleen Greene said…
Thanks for posting this tip! We've been trying to find a way to save and preserve our herbs before they die.

What do you do with them once they're dried? Do you crumble them up and store them in your pantry? Or do you freeze them whole?

-- Colleen @ The Taste Place
Colleen, once your herbs are really dry, just put them into glass containers (I use green ones to stop sunlight) and store in a dark pantry. Not over your stove (too hot) or on a counter (too much sun).

I sometimes strip the dried thyme from its woody stalk and then store it, just to save me time when I'm ready to use it. But all others, I leave whole. You can crumble if it suits you though

I never put my dried herbs in the freezer as that seems to add moisture content when you defrost.

But parsley and cilantro have to be frozen - they don't dry well. Also be careful with coriander, as you don't eat the leaves, just the dried fruit after it flowers and the flowers are dry and brown.

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