Farming

Preserving Fresh Herbs

Summer is fleeting. It feels like forever, but then one day you realize how quickly the sun has set and the night chill sets in. That is when I try to not forget to pick bunches of fresh herbs for preserving. It’s also when one should think about it, in the final farm pickups or CSA boxes of the season. Often, farms tuck in herbs as a thank you.

Lavender, in two shades:

Marshmallow in bloom (it is harvested for its roots later in the season):

An amply stocked pantry lets one sip on herbal teas, make tinctures and cook creatively all year.

In the morning, I go out and harvest bunches of herbs, placing each type in its own new paper lunch sack. Loosely roll over, and place in a dry, dark area (not too warm either) and let air dry for a few weeks. Or until you remember about them…in my case.

Gently strip the leaves (or if lavender and similar, the flowers) and pack into glass jars, sealed tightly. Be sure to mark as some herbs can be hard to identify once dry. Preferably store in a cool, dry and dark area, far away from the steam of a stove.

I try to restock at least once a year, depending on use. Certain herbs I dry nearly year round due to high use. But anytime you have extra herbs, tuck them in a bag and set them aside to dry.

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