drying season

bowlful harvestAfter a tedious couple of weeks, I finally got around to pruning my herbs. The mint plants are priority since they’re overgrown and my supply of dried leaves is running out because of a recent tea addiction. The Italian oregano and mint basil ought to be pruned next.

I was surprised to have harvested a large bowlful of mint leaves. At the back of my mind I was worried that I pruned them too much and the plants might die again. But at the farther recesses of my mind I was more excited. Imagine how much tea I can make with all these!

Trying to be more scientific now, I weighed the fresh leaves. I must remember to weigh them again after they’ve completely dried so I can have some sort of ratio of fresh to dry weight. Using that, I may be able to do a rough calculation of the moisture content of mint leaves. I should do this for the other herbs as well.

fresh weight

I’ve been drying leaves for quite a time now. At least the leaves of plants that we have in the garden. Leaves for tea are easier to handle because after they’ve dried, I only need to put them in airtight bottles and they’re ready to steep. For cooking herbs, it’s much harder because I still cut the leaves into very small pieces before I put them in recycled McCormick bottles, the one with the little holes so they’re ready to “tak tak tak” when cooking.

fresh vs dry

I’m actually enjoying all these leaf drying stuff. If I had a hobby, this should be it. I find myself greeting the leaves in the morning to check how much drier they were than the previous day. Or checking if insects or fruit flies have been pestering them. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a green thumb. So even if I love plants, this might be the closest I can get to them.

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3 thoughts on “drying season

    1. by air drying. i tried sun-drying them once but they turned crispy and were easily smashed to pieces. the problem with air drying is too much humidity can cause molds to form on the leaves. now i’m trying a combination of sun- and air-drying. hopefully i get better results.

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