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Drying and Preserving Herbs

Keep the flavor of your garden alive all year long. Pick and dry herbs for winter meals and holiday gifts.

Collect large amounts of basil, rosemary, marjoram and sage just prior to flowering. Cut the plants back about halfway in the morning after the dew has just dried off the leaves. Rinse, do not soak, the clippings and then remove any damaged or dried leaves.

Gather the herbs into small bundles and secure with a rubber band. As the stems shrink so does the rubber band. Use a spring type clothespin to hang the bundles from a clothes line or hanger.

Store the bundled herbs in a warm, dry, airy place - out of direct sunlight for drying. Some gardeners cover the drying herbs with a paper bag to keep them clean.

Fully dried herbs will be brittle. Store dried herbs in an airtight container for later use.

A bit more information: Extend your enjoyment by growing a few herbs indoors. Take cuttings of marjoram, mints, oregano, Rosemary, sage and winter savory for your indoor enjoyment. Take 3-4 inch cuttings from healthy plants. Once rooted, plant, and grow in a sunny window or under artificial lights.

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