The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:11

I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
Ecclesiastes 2:5













How I preserve and store my Herbs!!

Here's is a few ways that I've preserved my herbs!
Ice cube tray method
  1. First pick the freshest herbs( usually in the mornings when all the oils are still there) you can find
  2. Rinse and gently dry herbs
  3. Chop them up or you can use a food processor also
  4. Put the bits and pieces of chopped herbs in ice trays and then fill with some water or broth
  5. Freeze them overnight or however long it will take!
  6. In the morning place them in freezer bags, make sure all the air is out when you close them! Don't forget to label!!
Another way is Freezing them quickly

1. Again pick the freshest herbs, in the mornings
2. Rinse and gently dry herbs
3. Lay them out on some wax paper on a cookies sheet or round pizza pan whatever you have
4. Now freeze them overnight or however long it takes to freeze completely
5. In the morning put them in freezer bags! Make sure all the air is out. I store them all in another freezer bag to keep track of them. Be sure to label everything!

Another way: I've not tried this but it looks good! 
http://www.cheapvegetablegardener.com/2009/07/how-to-freeze-herbs.html
Ice cube tray method (with oil)

Pick the best freshest herbs you can find
Wash and pat herbs dry
Add 1/3 cup of oil for each 2 cubs of herbs to food processor or blender
Put chopped pieces into ice cube trays
Freeze overnight
Place cubes in freezer bag(s), using a straw to suck out excess air.  You may also put the trays right into the freezer bag sucking out the air if you wish.

 More How to Dry Herbs!
This is what I usually do!

I use a hanging board(when my son was small he loved to pound long nails onto 2ft and 3 ft  2x4s so he invented hanging boards!hahah) I still use them!

I pick my herbs in the early morning when the oils are still there, about 6 branches to the bundle and wrap a rubber band around the top of the stems, sometimes i just hang them up like that and if I have some small paper bags i put them inside the bag hanging upside down with the stems sticking out, Then I tie or tape the bag together at the top with the stems and rubberband sticking out still and hang it on my drying rack! I poke holes in the top for air circulation. I leave them hangin for anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. Be sure to check! Ive found that this method works best with thyme, summer savory, winter savorty, sage, rosemary, celantro, and marjoram. There's probably more but that's what I've tried so far. These herbs are low moisture herbs thats why it works good for them.
In the summer I also hang basil, sage, parsley, oregano, tarragon, my mints, lemon balm in smaller bundle. They have a higher moisture content and will mold if not dried fast. So be sure to watch them!

Dehydrator Drying
Be sure to preheat the deydrator to about 95 to 115 degrees( a bit higher for the more humid areas). Put your herbs on the trays and dry for about  1-4 hours till they are crunchy! When they crumble they are done.

Oven Drying!
 When oven drying herbs, place the leaves or stems on a cookie sheet and dry them for about 3-4 hours with the oven door open at about 180 °F.

 Microwave herbs on a paper towel on high for about 1-3 minutes, turning them over every 30 seconds.

Couple more ways to dry herbs or flowers
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/herb/how-to-dry-herbs-various-methods.htm

Tray drying herbs is another method. This can be done by stacking trays on one another and placing in a warm, dark place until the herbs are dry. Likewise, you can remove leaves from the stems and lay them on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and continue layering as needed. Dry in a cool oven overnight, using only the oven light.

Drying herbs in silica sand ,should not be used for edible herbs. This method of drying herbs is best suited for craft purposes. Place a layer of silica sand in the bottom of an old shoebox, arrange herbs on top, and cover them with more silica sand. Place the shoebox in a warm room for about 2-4 weeks until the herbs are thoroughly dry.

Now that we've dried our herbs how do we store them!!!

I store mine in my glass canning or baby food jars, in a dark, cool room(pantry or cupboard).
If you are leaving them out be sure to store them in a dark colored jar. Light and heat are not good for herbs!


 ohh just found a handy chart!!!
http://earthnotes.tripod.com/harvest.htm


1 comment:

Family Balance Sheet said...

This is a great resource. I'm going to bookmark it.