Warning: Be sure to establish vegetation accurately earlier than drying after which label them for storage with the title and date. Maintain out of youngsters’s attain.
Drying herbs is the only technique to protect them. There are alternative ways to dry completely different elements of the plant, however the underlying course of is identical: you expose lower herbs to warmth in order that the pure water content material can evaporate. As a result of the British local weather is so humid, I like to recommend that you simply use solely the oven methodology, in any other case you’re more likely to find yourself with a half-mouldy product. Herbs must be dried shortly, in fairly excessive temperature and away from daylight. Hanging bunches of herbs within the kitchen or attic appears to be like picturesque however just isn’t a great way to dry them – not sufficient air circulates across the herbs and so they take too lengthy to dry, which creates a possibility for fungi to develop on the leaves.
DRYING HERBS Photo Gallery
For those who intend to dry herbs you will need to gather the aerial elements (leaves, flowers, and so forth.) on a dry, sunny day; it’s even higher if you are able to do so after a couple of successive days with out rain. It isn’t so essential to gather the roots on a dry day, nonetheless, as you’ll nonetheless want to scrub them The aerial elements of herbs you collect should look wholesome, with none seen illness or insect injury, and free from filth so that you simply don’t want to scrub them.
Totally different herbs have completely different optimum instances for harvesting, and following biodynamic rules of sowing and harvesting will yield better-quality herbs. See the checklist of frequent herbs in Appendix 1 for harvesting instances.
PREPARE THE APPROPRIATE PART
• Components of the plant above floor ought to be left, for some time after harvesting to present any small bugs an opportunity to crawl away. Then chop the leaves and stems roughly with a pointy knife or herb rocking knife.
• Flowers must be lower off the stems. Within the case of calendula and rose, detach the petals. Flowers that produce giant umbels, similar to elderflower, ought to be dried with the stems however then shaken off. Small flowers similar to chamomile ought to be dried complete with a little bit of stem left connected.
• Berries should be indifferent from the plant, though generally it’s simpler to go away a little bit of the stem on. For instance, hawthorn berries and elderberries disintegrate when you attempt to pull them off the stems.
• Roots should be cleaned completely with a nail brush, or perhaps a toothbrush, utilizing operating water; patted dry with a clear dish material; after which chopped into small items, 1cm lengthy or much less.
DRYING IN THE OVEN
• Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
• Unfold your herbs in a skinny layer – the basis items must be in a single layer, with particular person bits simply touching one another.
• Set the oven temperature to 40oC/104oF. (Solely electrical ovens are appropriate for this methodology of drying. Ideally, don’t use a fan oven.)
• Timing will depend on the herb: the extra delicate the plant, the much less time it’ll take to dry. Roughly talking, leafy vegetation similar to lemon balm take about an hour, whereas roots and berries take 2-Three hours. It’s worthwhile to examine the herbs periodically, and if they appear dry and are simply crushed in your fingers they’re prepared.