**Part of our Herbal Homesteading Series** by Kristy from The New Bohemians
How to Dry Petals & Herbs
Harvesting your own herbs and petals from your garden is an absolute delight. In fact studies have shown that our bodies release happy hormones when we harvest possibly as a throw back to when we were hunter and gatherers. Here are a few quick tips for drying those herbs and petals well.
*If possible always harvest on a sunny and dry day first thing in the morning. This is not always possible but to ensure the plants dry properly, and don't go mouldy this is the best way.
Pull the petals off the main stem so they are individual. They will dry better this way. Scatter them on a cane plate or wire cake rack lined with brown paper. they need to be able to breathe with lots of space for airflow. Toss them every day ensure they dry evenly. Keep in a dry, warm place out of direct sunlight.
For Stems and bunches:
Bunch the stems together and remove and leaves below the tie area. Tie with twine ensuring you don't catch any leaves underneath. Hang the bunches on a hook. This not only ensures good air flow but also means the steam dry in an upright position. It makes them easier to strip the leaves from the stems afterwards if you plan to jar the leaves and also makes them sit upright in a vase or bottle if you plan to store them that way by the stove to use as you cook or for decoration. If what you are drying has seed heads, pop a brown paper bag over the whole bunch with holes poked into it all over. This will still allow for air flow but will also catch the seeds that fall as the bunch dries. Don't do this in very wet weather though.