Image by Allie Dearie, found on public domain at Unsplash.com
Harvesting and drying herbs: an activity for children of all ages. There are a few ways to preserve herbs: freezing, allowing them to air dry, or using a microwave, oven, or dehydrator to dry the herbs. In this activity, children will learn how to harvest, air-dry, and store herbs. Consider reading this comprehensive post from growagoodlife.com to learn all about how to harvest and store herbs.
- fresh herbs (leaving enough plant to support more growth)
- string or rubber band
- spice containers with labels
- Harvest the herbs. Always use scissors when harvesting plants to reduce damage. It’s also important to cut less than 1/3 of the plant with each harvest to encourage regrowth. Harvest in the morning – after the dew has dried but the sun hasn’t had time to evaporate the oils.
- Rinse the herbs under cold water and pat dry.
- Remove any damaged leaves and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Next, tie them together in a bundle and hang upside down to dry (preferably somewhere with airflow). If wanting to catch fallen seeds or worried about dust, place them in a brown paper sack with a few holes poked along the sides to allow for airflow. If using a paper bag, tie the string around the stems and the top of the bag.
- Wait about 1-2 weeks (it takes longer when using the paper bag).
- When they are completely dry (crumble to touch), pick the herbs from the stems. You can store the leaves whole and crush as needed, or crush by hand (or grind in a blender or coffee grinder), and then store.
- Place in an airtight container and label.