Your herb garden is exploding… now what?
You can’t possibly use up all that fresh flavor in one season, and you’ve already given away plenty to friends and neighbors.
The good news: there’s no need for your herb harvest to go to waste!
Keep reading to learn the 2 methods you can use to preserve your homegrown herbs for up to a year.
Air Drying Herbs
Air drying your herbs is simple, and works well for a number of different herb varieties (listed below).
To begin, cut herbs and shake away any dirt and dust. While you can use water to rinse your herbs clean, it’s imperative that the herbs are dried really well to prevent your herbs from molding. Be sure to remove any withering leaves from your cuttings.
Gather your herbs in a bundle, and tie the ends of the stems together with twine, elastic, or a rubber band. Hang the bunch upside down in a warm, dry space (out of direct sunlight) with plenty of air circulation to allow for drying.
When we air dry our herbs at Stoney Creek Farm, we hang them in bundles in the garage to dry. However, if you take this same route, make sure your garage doesn’t have moisture in it, as this will cause the herbs to mold.
Herbs will dry out anywhere between 1 week to a month. Once completely dry, the leaves will be crumbly. Store your new dried herbs whole in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to one year. Be sure to label your containers with the package date.
Common Herbs to Air Dry:
Oven Drying Herbs
If you want to speed up the process of drying the herbs, you can use your oven on a very low temperature.
Check out our video on drying cilantro to learn how to use your oven to dry herbs.
Freezing herbs is another great option for preserving herbs for up to a year.
Two herbs that I freeze from the Stoney Creek Farm garden are Mint and Basil, because I think they taste better frozen than dried.
To prep for freezing, remove leaves from stems, thoroughly wash, and pat until completely dry. Once dry, place in a plastic freezer bag marked with the date, stick them in the freezer, and voila—you’re done!
Some people don’t like the darker color that the herbs turn when freezing, so to remedy that, they simply blanch the leaves for about 30 seconds in boiling water to help maintain the color after freezing. Since this requires an additional step, I personally do not do blanch before freezing. The herbs still taste great, despite the discoloration!
When you’re ready to use your frozen herbs, simply take out a small amount, crush the leaves, and add to your recipe.
Common Herbs to Freeze:
When preserving your herbs is this simple, there’s no need to waste your summer bounty, or purchase dried herbs at the grocery story during the off-season!
Join us for a July 4th celebration at Stoney Creek Farm!
Our U-Pick Garden will be open from 8 am – 6 pm on Saturday, July 4th. Come pick homegrown blueberries, blackberries, all kinds of veggies, herbs, and flowers. Grill some squash, zucchini or green beans for your Independence Day celebration or add fresh berries to your homemade ice cream.
Then from 11 am – 2 pm, we’ll be hosting some fun on the farm for the whole family!
Enjoy grilled hot dogs, chips, a drink of your choice, and ice cream—for just $6 per meal. While you’re at it, why not pick some berries from our U-Pick Garden for your ice cream cup?
Listen to LIVE MUSIC from “Joyful Strings,” a talented cousin duo, Caitlyn and Karen. Listen to their tunes as Caitlyn plays the fiddle and Karen plays guitar and sings—both are a JOY to listen to.
Find us at:
4700 Coe Ln
Franklin, TN 37064