Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600288


  At  the end of the season,  garden herbs may be dried  and
stored for use during winter.                               

  Herbs should be air-dried in a dark place that never  gets
hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.                         

  The best dried  herbs  come  from  the  tender,  flavorful
leaves from the upper 6 inches of stalk.                    

  Cut herbs on a sunny morning after the dew has been burned
off.   The  best plants are those that have  just  begun  to
bloom.   Leave  most of the stem on when cutting  herbs  and
remove  tough  leaves  growing lower than 6  inches  on  the
stalk.  Take off blossom heads.                             

  Wash  herbs  in  cold water, drain and  blot  dry  with  a
single  layer  of cheesecloth.  Place them in a  dry,  SHADY
place  until  the leaves are so dry that they  crumble  when
handled.   Herbs  dried in the shade have better  color  and
flavor than sun dried herbs.                                

  Leafy  stems  may be tied in bunches and hung in  a  well-
ventilated, dust-free room to dry.                          

  Microwave  ovens  may be used to dry small  quantities  of
herbs.  The moisture  content of herbs is  extremely low, so
place on  a small  container  of water  in the  oven  during
drying to prevent damage to the magnetron tube.             

  Place 4 or 5 herb stalks with leaves between paper towels.
Microwave  on  high  for 2 to 3 minutes.   Check  herbs  for
dryness.   If  additional time is needed,  set timer for  30
seconds.   Check again and repeat with 30 second  intervals,
if necessary.                                               

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