The drying season has begun for some of the things that come out of our garden. These are mainly herbs, but the freshly harvested hot peppers are ready to be dried as well. During that process they will hopefully also turn nice and red and we’ll have hot peppers during the whole winter. We don’t use many, so I guess if we have around 20-30 around the end of the season we’ll have enough to get through winter. More than enough!  As I’m a vegetable garden rookie, I’m also a beginner when it comes to drying herbs. I’ve done some bay leaf drying during winter and spring, but I haven’t dried anything else yet. It will be an interesting adventure. 

harvest drying1

You might be a rookie as well and are wondering how I’m drying these things. I’m keeping these five principles in mind. There might be more, so please share if you have some drying secrets. I chose to dry things by hanging them, because I like the look of it. You can also dry herbs and such by placing them on a flat surface. This hanging method is more lively I think. Hopefully the whole line will be filled soon. But back to the five principles I’m following: 

  1. I’m using a dry place to dry the herbs and peppers
  2. I’m using a warm – though not too sunny -(pref. no direct sunlight) place to dry them
  3. I’m giving the pieces enough space to dry amongst each other and within each bush
  4. I’m only drying herbs and veggies that aren’t available fresh in winter or that I’ll be giving away to people. So I’m not drying bay leaf or sage  or rosemary for ourselves, we have that in big amounts available for us during winter, since the bush stays green during winter
  5. I’m not drying herbs that aren’t suitable for drying. So no dry basil. I’m preparing basil for winter in frozen oil ice cubes. More about this later

harvest drying3

harvest drying2

I’m hoping these are enough guidelines to follow and that everything will turn out great. If you are wondering how I placed the peppers on a piece of yarn: it’s easy! I just took a needle and a piece of yarn (in this case bakers twine) and pinched it through the stem of the pepper. It’s important that you keep a long stem on the pepper when you take it out of the garden. I’ll try to make a little tutorial next time I’ll take some out of the garden. It might take a while though, since I took most out and the plants are now only forming new flowers.

Anyway, I think it’s this easy – just try and if you have something to share, please let me know.