Harvesting Herbs

Don’t Dry Your Herbs in the Kitchen

Herbs drying in the kitchen may look trendy, but it’s not a good place to dry them. Photo: i.pinimg.com.

On television, in magazines and on the Internet, you often see trendy kitchen decors with, dripping from the ceiling, stems of herbs hanging upside down to dry. This concept itself may be very chic, but it’s not very realistic. The kitchen is one of the worst places in the house, along with the laundry room and the bathroom, to dry anything, let alone herbs.

You need to understand that when you hang small bunches of herbs from the ceiling—and that is a perfectly logical method for drying them—, you’ve just entered in a race against the clock. If all goes well and there is good air circulation, the leaves will dry quickly and you’ll be able to store them for future use in cooking. If things go wrong, that is, if the air is stagnant and humid, mold will settle in before the herbs have time to dry and then you’ve lost your crop: it will only be good for the compost bin.

So, logically, you’d dry the herbs in a fairly dry spot of the house with good air movement: an attic, a workshop, an hall, maybe even your living room, but not in a room where humidity reigns, like a kitchen (with its sink and boiling liquids), a bathroom or laundry room.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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