The method for drying herbs is not a difficult one but it does have its techniques. Most herbs will dry very effectively in an area that is airy and out of direct sun light. In our drying room we have large open air shelves with screen trays that hold loose leaf herbs and flowers, and the stemmed herbs are hung from the ceiling. Even though this looks awesomely old timey, avoid the temptation to leave them hanging after they are dried. Herbs will lose their potency if left in open air for long periods of time. They are thoroughly dried when they crumble easily. If a leaf only half crumbles or balls up when worked it is not dry and should not be bagged, bottled, or stored until it is to prevent it from molding and contaminating the rest of the container.
As was stated earlier herbs can be harvested any time during the growing season and thusly can be dried any time. The snippets, and maintenance cuttings during the growing can be dried and stored regularly but the bulk of the harvest is done near the end of the summer season just before the plants go to flower. Often several stalks are left to go to flower and on to seed. By this we ensure that our plants may remain. Yields may differ from year to year but with proper care and a large investment of time, herbs will be a lasting treasure for we that grow them and generations to come.
Round and Round and Round We Go
So that is it. We end where we began. Sitting in an empty greenhouse contemplating what it is to be a modern herb grower. The world grows smaller every day. Populations expand, and open lands shrink. Societal trends pull us further and further from the earth. But to work the soil with my own hands, to breathe, and to know what it is to exist, well that’s something anyway.