Sage adds a wonderful flavor to sausage, potatoes and a few other things. I grow a couple plants and take leaves fresh to add to things during the summer.
The plants die back in the harsh winters we have here, but come right back the next spring. Some leaves remain on the plants in the winter but they aren’t good then, so I always gather and dry some sage during the summer. Now is a good time since we’ve had a lot of rain lately and the leaves are beautiful, and we haven’t had any of our really bad heat which will come soon. The leaves lose vigor when the July hot days come, since some of the essential oils of the plant will go down in to the roots and the taste and fragrance won’t be as good as they are right about now.
I find it easiest to just lay the leaves out on a cookie sheet or baking dish, and set them in the oven for a few days. No heat, just a dust free place to let them sit and dry, and also, there could possibly be a few black cat hairs around here, lol. I just wash it, dry it on towels, pick it over for bad spots and then remove the leaves from the stems. I keep the stems and dry them also, for burning.
When they are fully dry, like crackly dry, to prevent mold, then put them in a jar with a tight lid and set them somewhere away from the sun shining in the kitchen. The sage you grow and dry yourself has more flavor than anything you can buy in the store, plus you know what it is your eating, like anything else you grow yourself. Crush up a couple leaves for a soup or another dish in the winter and you get that great flavor and aroma, so good that you might think you’re standing out back where the herbs grow on a nice June day.
Great post! I’m assuming the way you dry sage could be used for other herbs you too?
Thanks Jackie. Actually it matters how much moisture content is in the herb and how big the leaves are. For something like rosemary or thyme, where the leaves are so small, it’s easier to bundle them and hang the bundle up to dry. I’m also drying lovage today and I’ll write a post about that.
These post are very helpful! Thank you.
You’re so welcome!
Your reminder about sage comes a week too late…I cut all my sage last week and made some smudge sticks with them and forgot to save enough to dry. But more will grow and I’ll try to harvest some then for winter use. I can smell it now!!! Grow on girl!
Yea more should grow back cos mine always does when I trim it, especially since it’s early in the season yet. Then you can take some to dry to cook with. Hopefully the new leaves will have good flavor and oil in them, young and tender. You grow on too! My Hopi beans have reached the top of their tee pee and now I have given them a path over to a tomato trellis. Grow beans among the tomatoes, why not? And we have so much stuff growing here this year, some things have to share some climbing space. I can reach between tomatoes to pick beans, lol!
Your hopi beans are way ahead of mine Nancy. The only place I had to plant them this year is not ideal, and it shows. I’m sure I’ll get a decent harvest ultimately but mine just aren’t thriving in this crummy bit of soil I have them in. I can’t believe yours are that tall wow!
Several are over 4′ tall and they’re really just getting started at climbing, only one shoot heading up from each plant. Once they get some good roots down and know they have some place to climb to, the plants will fill out and then things will really take off. They’re planted in a place that I was not intending to plant a climber, but some had to go in the ground to see what they would do cos they were something so different. I’ve already figured out a path for them to go on and I can’t wait to see what these are like!
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