We make our own dried herbs, since we drink herbal teas all year long. In the summer period we pick them fresh from the garden, in winter we have dried leaves. Here’s a short manual, using the nettle as an example.
- Look for nettle in a clean place, far from roads and pesticides.
- Pick the fresh shoots, the top 2 “storeys”. I also pick the leaves from the two lower storeys if they’re still young enough.
- Collect a nice little pile of the stuff.
- Efficient drying is of the essence. No sunlight, warm air (around 35 degrees), the quicker the better. I used my off-grid electric dehydrator, the leaves were dry in a few hours. I used to have a nice and warm attic, perfect for drying, where the leaves would dry in a couple of days. Whichever method you use, the leaves have to be as dry as crisps, cracking into little pieces as you touch them. If they’re still flexible, then you’re not done yet. When properly dried, they will also keep their lively green colour.
- Keep them in an airtight container, preferably somewhere dark or at least out of direct sunlight. They will keep good until next year, and even beyond that, unless you drink them all, of course. 🙂