How to make a DIY herb dryer: how to dry herbs

***Lowes has all their herbs marked down….  I snatched up a few to dry for tea.

 

I’ve never dried herbs before and wanted to learn how to dry herbs on my own.  I had one problem… I needed a place to hang my little herb bundles . I started looking around the garage and found last years tomato plant supporter  and decided it just might be the ticket.  (Someones probably already done this, I haven’t seen it. I’m just sharing a tip that might help you like it is helping me :)

First get your metal support ( they can be purchased new and in various sizes…not sure on price.. this was free) Clip off the tall wires that jet out the top so you end up with this:  (The scale looks off in the photo…the top ring is smaller than the bottom.)

 

Next cut some hearty herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram etc.

Softer herbs with more moisture like basil, chives, mint, tarragon etc work better dehydrating or freezing.

Below I have rosemary, (in the middle I believe I have some sort of sage variety), and oregano.

Remove dead leaves, wash them off (or mist them) and towel dry.

 

Remove about and inch or so of the leaves from the bottom of each stem….

 

Next bundle about 5-6 pieces together…. not to many… they need air flow.

 Now, find some paperclips in your organized desk drawer and open them up…..they now become your little hooks:)

 

Are you ready for the fun part??  Hang your little bundles and let those babies dry…it will probably take a few weeks but keep checking it may take longer. After they are completely dry remove the leaves and store in a zip lock bag or canning jar. Don’t forget to label them with the date.  Drying herbs is not only economical but by using the slow air drying method the herbs retain their oils and flavor….microwaving them zaps out the oils.. Dried herbs are suppose to last up to a year but as they lose color they lose taste. Be sure to discard if there are any signs of mold. (1 teaspoon crumbled dry in place of 1 Tablespoon fresh) Oh, and whole leaves retain more flavor, so crumble them right before use.

 

I don’t have a place to hang my herb dryer so I’m sitting it on the table in my dust free guest room :) If you have a place to hang yours just tie 3 strands of rope from the top rung …knot them…gather them knot them again and hang them….

Oh, I almost forgot….the extra little pieces I pulled from the bottom of the stems will be frozen in ice cube trays ….(2/3 water 1/3 herb) after they’re frozen, I’ll pop them out and store them in a freezer bag. Frozen herbs last up to 3 months….if you blanch them first they last up to 6. 

 

I’m linking to DIY tutorial Linky Party 

The Girl Creative

Between naps on the porch

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Comments

  1. this is EXACTLY what I need. I am growing tons of herbs and am not yet organized with drying them. Perfect perfect. Thank you so much for this dryer !

    btw it’s so good, if you havent yet, do post your best crafty DIY tutorials at http://www.finecraftguild.com's DIY Tutorial linky party.
    This week’s party is here:
    http://www.finecraftguild.com/diy-tutorial-linky-party-3/

  2. Herbal plants used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine are facing extinction.
    Definite cause of concern, as Ayurveda is increasingly being used around the world to treat various disorders such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, ulcers and many others.

    Some herbs that have been identified are – Ulteria salicfolia, Hydnocarpus pentandra, Gymnocladus assamicus, and Begonia tessaricarpa.

    Conservation of traditional herbs and plants should become a high priority for all. Challenge
    becomes more severe as many of these herbs grow in the wild and are not cultivated.

    Planet Green (a discovery.com venture) reported on this earlier this month.

    http://ayurvedagroup.com/blog/2010/93-of-ayurvedas-wild-medicinal-plants- threatened-with-extinction/

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