Harvest is a time of joy and introspection. This is when we may finally enjoy the results of our labour and feel fully connected to the intrinsic natural cycles of the earth.
Though summertime is quickly coming to a close, we can still enjoy the embers of the season and harvest many herbs and botanicals outdoors.
Whether you love to cook, you’re a home herbalist, a seasoned professional, or just like to play in the garden, growing your own botanicals is a beautiful and relaxing way to spend the summer.
By the time harvest season comes around, we’re ecstatic to reap what we’ve sown.
One of our top herbalists Alecia has shared her best tips for a successful harvest and how to dry and preserve herbs for use during the coming winter:
- Have a place you will be harvesting from in mind. i.e. your garden, somewhere in nature that it's allowed/acceptable (and not sprayed) to collect from: Garden, family farm, backcountry camping trip.
- Get a clean basket or bag to store your collected harvest in.
- Have a sharp pair of clean scissors or a knife ready to use (safety first! If using a blade, make sure it's stored properly to avoid accidents)
- When harvesting, cut herbs like mint, lemon balm, and sage directly above the last/bottom set or two of leaves. This promotes more growth from these leaves.
- When harvesting small leafy herbs like thyme, harvest a few inches above the ground to promote growth for the end of season.
- Pluck flower heads off at the base of the flower.
- When harvesting seed heads, place the seed head into a paper bag, then cut or break off the seed head at the base of the flower. This helps catch any loose seeds that might otherwise fall to the ground.
- Preparation: spread herbs in a thin layer over paper or in baskets, set in a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Alternatively, you may tie a string or an elastic band around the end of the herbs to form a bundle and hang to dry.
- Check herbs every day or two. When drying on a flat surface, be sure to turn and rotate to ensure even drying.
- Once dry, remove leaves from stems and store in airtight containers. Remember to label with name and date.
- Alternatively, mix your dried herbs before storing to have a ready-made tea blend.
- Enjoy your herbs fresh or dry in cooking, baking, teas, honeys or anything you may enjoy that helps get them into your system!
Harvesting isn’t difficult or challenging.
It’s just a matter of knowing the hows of harvesting and drying to encourage a healthy growing cycle and prepare for next year.
Did you miss out on planting this year, or lack the space and time?
No worries at all! Earth’s Aromatique has you covered with high-quality, organic-where-possible, ethically-sourced dried herbs and botanicals. Take a look!
In the meantime, we’re already planning out next year’s gardening plots…