1) Gather fresh herbs from the garden, preferably during that ideal time in the morning after the dew has dried but before the heat of the sun has had a chance to wilt the leaves.
2) Spread the leaves out on a clean surface to dry, or tie them into loose bundles and hang to dry. This will take several days. If you're impatient or need them right away, you can nuke them in the microwave. Start out at one minute, check door dryness and continue at thirty-second increments until the leaves are dry and crisp. Time will depend on the moisture-content and thickness of the herbs.
3) Strip the leaves from the tough stems.
4) Working with one herb at a time, crush the leaves into pieces of desired size and store in air-tight jars in a cool, dark place for maximum freshness.
5) If you prefer ground herbs, you can whir the dried herbs in a clean electric coffee grinder. Pack the grinder as full as you can get it (it grinds better with enough leaves in there to get some traction). Grind until the leaves are reduced to the desired fineness. I find it helps to hold the grinder and sort of shake it a little as it grinds.
6) If there are tough bits of stem remaining, you can sift the herbs through a fine sieve to remove them.
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Grow a verdant container herb garden in your small space with Easy to Grow Container Herb Garden.
Learn more techniques for growing and drying herbs with Homegrown Herbs.
Enjoy your freshly grown herbs and learn new recipes at the same time with The Beginner's Guide to Edible Herbs.
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