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DRYING BASIL

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Holly Stewart on June 30, 2004 04:34 AM
I am new to growing herbs and was wondering how to dry them. I have grown a huge basil plant and was wondering how to save it for future use.

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Holly
by Chrissy on June 30, 2004 04:51 AM
Hi, I air dry my herbs. Some I lay on old window screens & let dry flat, then I package them in bottles, some crushed, some full leaves, depends on the herb. You can also put herbs in brown paper sacks with a few venilation holes poked in the bag for air circulation & they will dry over several days. You can hang herbs to dry by bundling the plants from the thickest stem, tying them with twine & using a clothespin to clip them to a line to dry or hang them from a herb rack or coat rack or any other place you can find that has good air circulation. The whole idea is to let the moisture evaporate slowly and naturally, leaving the precious herb oils behind. Sturdy herbs are best for air-drying. These are the less tender, low-moisture varieties such as sage, marjoram, thyme, summer savory, dill, oregano, bay leaves, and rosemary. Basil, tarragon, lemon balm and all mints have high moisture content and will get moldy if not dried pretty quickly. The best time to cut herbs for drying is just before they flower. Hope this helps:) Chrissy

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by ta on July 04, 2004 07:58 AM
I have also heard of freezing them to preserve them. It is supposed to keep the flavor better. You put the leaves in ice cube trays and fill with water. When frozen, you just pop them out and keep in a freezer bag in the freezer. When you are making a sauce or soup, you just pop in a couple of ice cubes and get really nice fresh flavor...
by zelinda on July 11, 2004 03:33 AM
I read about another way to preserve basil. You can puree it in a food processor, add olive oil, and keep it in a jar in the refrigerator. Each time you use the basil, you're supposed to top it off with olive oil. It's supposed to keep for one year. Here is the url, incase you want more info: http://seedsofknowledge.com/herbharvest.html

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