Air Drying Herbs
Around this time 3 years ago, Jason and I discovered Fresh City Farms and after taking one of their workshops (on canning and preserves) we signed up for their weekly produce delivery service. It was so fun opening up the bag and digging in to see what we got for the week. It was almost like opening gifts at Christmas.
Though the initial childish excitement has worn off, we both still absolutely love getting our veggie bag every week. There have been times we’ve been delightfully surprised to get all our favourite veggies and other times when we’ve had to customize the bag (3 weeks of butternut squash in a row will do that). Overall we are two very happy customers. But enough about that, this blog post is about drying herbs.
So why did I go on about Fresh City? Over the last 3-4 months we’ve been getting at least 2 fresh herbs per month. Some times it’s parsley or cilantro and others it’s dill or basil. It’s great for when you actually have a recipe or two that uses an entire bunch of fresh herbs but if you don’t then the herbs end up sitting in water for…well, a long time. Until they die. We’re usually very good about putting our herbs in water right away or at least putting them in the fridge.
Until we didn’t store them and a bouquet of rosemary was left outside (I’m not sure how long it’s been out but it’s now a dried and pungently smelling herb). Not a month went by and we got another bunch of fresh herbs, this time the packing list said Summer Savoury Herbs. Again, I almost purposely left the bouquet outside along with the potatoes and onions. In the back of my mind I would always think, as I walked by the wilted herbs, ‘I should really dry those properly.’ This went on for another two months until now. I finally FINALLY grabbed all the herbs we’ve received from Fresh City and hung them up to dry.
We have an IKEA shelf in the kitchen where we store produce and cooking utensils and the idea to tie a bit of scrap cotton yarn came to me so suddenly I might have actually jolted. Next I had to think of a way to hang the bouquets. I used small curtain hook clips (most likely leftover from an IKEA purchase) but also experimented with paper clips seeing as I have a very limited supply of hooks. The entire DIY took less than 10 mins and the result is a pretty display of aromatic herbs!
As the herbs dry, they will become brittle and crumble onto the shelf and floor so I will need to be very careful “harvesting” so as not to waste any precious herb.
Lastly, because I’m not (yet) an expert at identifying herbs I labelled each bouquet with plain marking tags from Staples.