Drying, trying, and crying

Drying:  strawberries, blueberries and chamomile flowers

2 quarts of strawberries, already dried.  The smell contained in that jar is indescribably amazing!

Did you know blueberries take FOREVER to dry? (20 hours and counting at this point...)

The beginnings of a winter's worth of tea:

Trying: four different methods of drying lemons.

Slivered zest:

Larger pieces of zest:

Slices without peel (the source of the zest, of course!):

Slices with peel:

And crying:  my first drying failure.  Well, second, if you count my failure in this same area last year.  Mom and Dad gave me the dehydrator last year for my birthday, which is in the fall.  So I first tried to dry my herbs and mints last summer by just bagging them with a paper bag, and letting air dry.

Total, complete, mouldy failure.

I blame Lake Erie :)  Honestly, I think it's too humid here to air dry.  So, this year, I tried the dehydrator.

Total, complete, tasteless failure. 

Those are supposed to be two large bottles of dried oregano.  It smells NOTHING like oregano. 

That is supposed to be a large jar of dried lemon balm.  It smells exactly the same as the oregano.  Which means it smells nothing like lemon balm. 

I jarred them up, thinking the scent would somehow magically re-appear once they were contained.  Yeah, not so much.  I've finally convinced myself the only good place for these is the compost heap :(

I think the problem is the dehydrator, which is simply too hot for drying herbs without ruining their scent.  I'll try air drying again this year, in a place with better air movement.  Other than that, I'm out of ideas.

Does anyone out there dry herbs in a humid place?  Any trick or tips to share?  Please??


  1. I don't normally have any problems with humidity here on the prairies, but I know on really wet, rainy weeks, Mom dried her herbs in the oven on the lowest setting it would go, with the door propped open. I have been known to let my bread rise in the oven with just the oven light on, and it does get warmer than you would expect. Maybe that would be warm enough for dehydrating, but not so warm as to kill your herbs?

  2. Thanks JJ, and thanks for commenting! I'll have to try that - and I do miss the low humidity of the prairies, especially for things like this :)

  3. Try drying them in the paperbags but use the hot day vehicle drying method, Take your bunch with a good stem left, put into a bigger brown paper bag, get three to five bunches depending on size, roll down your window, about an inch or two, carefully wiggle the stems though the open window, then roll up with the bags loosely tied with string or yard so that they don't fall off, and within a matter of hours in the hot dry air in the vehicle they will be done, provided its a correct hot dry picking day, I start in the morning and have them dried and done by the afternoon. And depending on how many windows you have, you can dry alot of herbs at one go. Do give it a try, its always worked well for me.

  4. Thanks Farmgal! I'll have to try that this weekend - all this insane heat may as well be put to some use!



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