Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Garden Day

 It can be difficult to be present in the summertime, thinking about all that needs to be foraged and harvested for the year to come. Today, I worked on gathering culinary herbs and some medicinals to dry for this year's use. Among them are some new herbs I have yet to use, catnip and mugwort.
Some things to think about when drying herbs:

  • Bundle in small amounts so that air can filter through the stems and leaves for more efficient drying 
  • Hang them to dry in a place with plenty of ventilation and that remains relatively dry. We used to hang our garlic to dry underneath a covered gazebo but although the daytime is dry and breezy, the early morning brings a lot of dew and dampness which caused our stock to become prematurely moldy. This will depend on what region and microclimate you live in.
  • Don't leave herbs too long in a place that has lots of sun exposure. Check them often and once they're dry get them stored in jars. Nutrient loss may occur as a result of too much sun. 

Lars and I tidied up the greenhouse after hanging the herbs (which will inevitably be dirt-clodden by next week), but there's something about sweeping away dirt that is so satisfying.
Project for tomorrow: Harvest Queen Ann's Lace (aka wild carrot) for flower pressing to use in future art projects!