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Herb Drying

What is a witch without her herbs?! (Still a witch and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.)
I love herbs, always have, always will. If it’s green, I want it. Do they always live? No. Do I ever do anything with them? Not always. Am I good at them? Not at all.
In the last year of being on maternity leave, my black thumb has turned into a green thumb, and I have two planter boxes full of herbs on my front porch.
Every blog post I came across on how to dry herbs for tea, told me to put them in a dehydrator. Well; I’m a 29 year old mom of 1, living in 2020,  and so I don’t have a dehydrator or extra money to buy a dehydrator. I did find one blog that said I could use my oven on the lowest setting and “bake” them until the leaves were crispy.
So that’s what I did. To try and be helpful to other people I included my table of herbs, my oven temp and the time frame it took for them to get crispy, as well as a few before and after photos of the herbs in question.

The best practice is to make sure the leaves are single layered. This will help the herb to dry completely and fully, as the herbs tend to curl in on themselves when they are drying.
I took the liberty of taking off the leaves off of the stems. I cut the sage as close to the leaf as possible when I was getting it off the plant, the smaller leaves like spearmint and raspberry leaf, I cut off branches and so had to pick off the leaves one by one. This isn't necessary of course, but something I elected to do because I didn't want to deal with the stems in my dried herbs because A) I'm planning on using them for tea and B) it's hard to get the stems into jar spells when I'm doing them.


Common Sage


Raspberry Leaf                    Common Sage 

Raspberry Leaf (basket) and Spearmint (glass bowl)

Spearmint

The best way to keep your herbs is in an airtight container. Take your choice of course but mine is either a mason jar, or the instant coffee jars. I always prefer glass.
Take your pic on how to crush the leaves, it's pretty easy to do so with your hands after they have been dried. I do it with my hands because then I don't have to worry about trying to get all the herbs out of my mortar, especially if I'm drying multiple at a time and don't want to mix them together.
I probably got a whole jars worth of dried herbs after drying my 5 batches, because of how small they shrink once dried. The whole process, around my other duties during the day, took about 2 days of time.
This gives me a whole new appreciation for people that grow, pick, dry, and bottle herbs in small businesses. So if you ever go to buy from a small business and feel like their herbs have been over priced, just remember how much time you read it took me to get just a small amount, let alone several pound bags.
I hope this helps you on your process of drying herbs!
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