Friday, January 23, 2009

Drying Herbs

Now you've grown your own herbs in your hydroponic cabinet indoors, what about drying them?

Drying herbs is a fine thing to do because you’re going to get the maximum freshness and taste.

Quite frankly, you’ll also know your herbs are organic as many of the herbs purchased in stores have had herbicides or pesticides used on them to control insect pests.

I know they don’t tell you this but in order to get large quantities of herbs into stores, you need large farms and most of these farms are “offshore” and the use of chemicals is not as regulated as it is in North America or Europe.

Grow your own herbs and you guarantee both freshness and quality all season long.

Tips for Drying Herbs

The best system for retaining quality herbs is to air dry them and this is also the cheapest although one of the slowest. Moisture evaporates slowly in the air drying herb system and this leaves most of the sought after oils behind in the leaf.

Some folks love their dehydrators and these are terrific if you are drying large quantities. Instructions will be in each kit but if you only have a few herbs to do, the cheapest way for drying herbs is the air-drying system.

Recipe for air drying herbs

Plan on harvesting your herbs in the early morning before they start expending energy for the day and are in the best condition right before flowering.

Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut the large stems or branches away from the plant. Shake (gently) each branch to dislodge insect visitors. Remove any damaged or diseased leaves.

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