Some of you may know I grow a lot of herbs. When my herbs are in bloom the honeybees and other pollinators love to sip their nectar and gather pollen. I think they instinctively know or perhaps they can actually smell the deliciousness herb flowers provide. I think they know herbs are the most nutritious flowers they can harvest nectar and pollen from. With cold weather nipping at our heels, and rain expected soon, I am now harvesting and drying my herbs to store for my own use all winter long. Above you see oregano I have dried and stripped from the stems. I am bottling it up in a previously store bought jar. Herbs are expensive and I am saving a ton of money and reaping the benefits of the flavor and nutrients every time I use my own herbs.
Here is the oregano drying on an old cookie sheet which I use for drying my herbs. I don't hang my herbs; I find if I just lay them flat indoors they dry just fine and it's much less work than tying them up to dry.
Here is rosemary I have dried and stripped from the stems. With some of my rosemary I like to grind it up into a rough powder. The powdered rosemary is not so prickly on the mouth when used in recipes this way. I store my rosemary in some wider open mouthed jars with a silicone seal stopper. I do use fresh stems whole in some recipes as with the cornish game hens in the previous post. Rosemary is everygreen and so I can harvest fresh stems even in winter.
Here are the rosemary branches before stripping. I use some gloves to strip the stems because rosemary can be quite prickly. Out of all the herbs I dry, rosemary and also sage take the longest to dry; I just wait patiently till they are ready. Oh my, so that's how those spiders get in the house. I don't use any herbicides or pesticides on any of my plants, so I guess I'll put up with an errant spider or two.
I also buy whole peppercorns and grind those up. Freshly ground pepper is much tastier than pre-ground peppers. I purchased this old coffee grinder used and it has been working out well for my herb grinding tasks. This week I have thyme and Spanish tarragon drying on the same cookie sheets; I'll be processing those in a few days or so. I urge you to grow some herbs; they take little care and reward you and the pollinators more than ten times over.