Wednesday, August 28, 2013

~30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 8 - How To Dry Herbs (with pictures!) ~

Hello all! 

I've been drying herbs a lot this summer, and while it might seem intimidating, it really isn't! There is a specific way that they should be stored to avoid going moldy, but that's really it. I've written out the steps below and added pictures to help! If you grew herbs this summer and didn't use all of them, drying them is a great option to not only save them from being wasted, but it also preserves the flavor and they can still be used if stored properly. I like to think every Wiccan and Pagan who grows their own herbs should know how to do this! It can get very expensive to buy dried herbs, and there's really no point when you can just do it yourself. So let's get started!

Firstly, gather your materials:

1. A colander for holding the herbs after they're cut (a bowl/basket can also work)
2. Scissors
3. Twine
4. A Marker
5. A paper bag or another breathable bag (like the laundry mesh bags for washing delicate clothing)
6. Paper Towels

Then, place the herbs on the paper towel and shake off any excess dirt or bugs. If you need to wash them you can, but use very little water and pat the herbs completely dry so they won't mold in the bag. If you need to leave them out to dry for a while, do so (and please excuse my arm in this pic, I was trying to hold the camera steady).

Take the excess leaves off of the herbs, leaving about an inch of plain stem at the bottom of the plant.

Use your twine and wrap it around the stems, gathering the herbs together.

Poke holes in your paper bag - this step is IMPORTANT! Place the herbs inside with the stems facing up.

Finally, label your bag and leave it somewhere cool and dry to hang. Sometimes I loop the string on the outside and hang it on my bedroom doorknob, but I found it's easier to fold the top over and use a clothespin to place it to a washline or a drying rack. Anywhere were it can hang! Once the herbs are dried (about 1-2 weeks), store them somewhere cool in a jar or a bag.

There you have it! Pretty easy, right? This is a great skill for anyone who works with herbalism, needs herbs for Wiccan or Pagan ritual, or even people who use them to cook! 

So there you have it, my DIY for the day :)


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