I’ve recently decided I’d like to try my hand at gardening. One day, I’d love to have a garden with fruits and vegetables, but for now, I started small. If you remember the photos from our renovated atrium, you may remember the herb garden I created in an old popcorn cart.
Once the plants started growing, I wanted to use them for their purpose, so I looked up ways to harvest them for my cooking. It’s a really simple process, and I wanted to share a tutorial of how it’s done for those who wonder!
First, clip the plants:
(By the way, I’m in love with the smell of fresh lavender.)
Then, gather each set of clippings and give them a good rinse:
I also remove any dead or less-than-desirable leaves from the clippings before moving to the next step – bundling. Take each of your bunches and secure them together. I use a rubber band for this:
Once they’re bunched together, simply hang them upside down to dry. I hang them from string on a convenient little rack that used to hold mugs. I found it at an estate sale and repurposed it – it works perfectly!
Keep your herbs in a dry place that isn’t directly in the sun, and allow them to dry. This takes anywhere from one to two weeks. You’ll know when they’re dry, as most of the herbs shrink and become crunchy.
Next, it’s time to store the dry herbs. For this, I use small wine bottles because they have lids, are the perfect size, and… bonus: I get to drink the wine first.
Of course, cabernet is the only way to go in my book:
To collect the herbs, take one bundle at a time and carefully remove the leaves. If you run your fingers backwards up the stems, it’s especially easy to pull the leaves off.
Once you’ve removed the leaves, simply collect them into your bottles:
That’s it! Now you have a (hopefully) endless supply of herbs for your cooking needs.
I like to sprinkle rosemary on potatoes, throw some oregano in with boiling pasta, and add basil to simmering sauce. The dried mint leaves also make a really nice tea for relaxing and/or stomach soothing.
I haven’t done anything with the dried lavender yet, but I am looking for ways to use it. Any ideas?
Thanks for checking out this tutorial!