Food Preservation, gardening

Drying Basil & Parsley

The Basil plants…..

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The leaves picked, washed and placed in dehydrator…

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After about 35 mins…..

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These were placed into a 500 ml Mason jar for use over the winter. We will continue to pick the leaves and do this process until the plants go to seed.

The parsley washed and spun dry in the lettuce spinner….

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The leaves picked off the stems….

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Placed spread out in the dehydrator…

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And approx 1 hr later…

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We will continue to do this until we have Mason Jars full of both for the winter. These herbs are great when making homemade pasta sauce, soups, stews, and chili.

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gardening, Herbs, Sustainable Living

Basil Seeds

Looking at this beautiful basil plant grown from seed this spring, I know I will want to plant & grow more next year.

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When the basil plant ‘went to seed’ , I picked off the stem sections that were covered in seed and allowed them to dry (seen below…)

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I also picked them and took the seed pods off before drying the stems…

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Either way, the seed pods must be left to dry in order to get at the little basil seeds inside (approx 4-5 seeds/pod)…

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A bit painful because it’s such a tedious job, our neighbour & garden connoisseur Rocky, told us we don’t have to get the little ones out, just allow the pods to dry & plant them.

Every time we pick the basil, it seems like it will be the last time, every time. We pick stems gone to seed every time & pick as many leaves off as we can. We dry them in the food dehydrator to speed the process up and store them in mason jars. And then we return 2 days later and do the whole process over again!

To the “Last Time”, the really last time for picking the Basil, who knows how long it will last 😉

Look forward to our post next spring regarding how the planted ‘pods’ do in comparison to this years’ planted seed – thanks for reading.

 

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Herbs, Sustainable Living

Dehydrating Herbs

As I mentioned, we did a lot of harvesting on Monday which included basil and parsley.

I love adding fresh parsley to sandwiches, salads, and smoothies, but with an abundance of it on hand, I wanted to ensure that nothing was wasted.

So it was time to do a little herb drying.  I am not patient however and I do not have a lot of space right row that is convenient. So for that reason, I decided to use the dehydrator and dry them in an approx 1 hour.

Washed and ‘dried’, they were laid out on parchment-lined trays.

We had 2 trays for the basil leaves and 3 trays for the parsley the first time around. The second time around we used all 5 trays for parsley. We have filled a 500 ml mason jar full of dried parsley and a 1/2 of a 250 ml mason jar filled with dried basil leaves.

We use the chives in cooking, salads, and dressings too much to dry it right now. The chive patch is also pretty small and has not spread like the parsley.

It will be wonderful to have these ‘homemade’ dried herbs to use in the winter in stews, chilis, and soups.

 

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