drying oregano

Drying oregano: Step-by-step instructions

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Today is oregano drying day at the Walliser house. Every May I head out to the garden to harvest fresh oregano sprigs. The timing is crucial because if I cut them too early, the flavor isn’t quite up to snuff, but if I cut them too late, four-lined plant bug damage has marred the beautiful foliage and the flower buds have already developed. Early to mid-May seems to be the perfect time for drying oregano.

Here’s how I go about drying oregano.

oreganosg

Oregano is an easy herb to grow and dry.

 

First, I head out to the garden with a sharp pair of herb scissors. I gather a large handful of tender, green shoots with my left hand and cut them with my right, making sure the cut ends of the stems all line up. I give the handful of oregano a few quick, brisk shakes to dislodge any insects and debris, then I wrap the base of the stems with a rubber band. I continue this process until I have six or seven bunches. We go through a lot of oregano in the winter, and I never like to run out of homegrown herbs!

Related post: The cost savings of growing herbs

Once the bunches are inside, I unfold one paperclip for each bunch and use the paperclip’s “S” as a hook, sliding one end under the rubber band and using the other end to hook the bunch of oregano to its drying location. I extend a piece of jute twine from one side of my kitchen window to the other, fastening it securely to a tea cup hook I installed on each end of the window frame. Then I hang the bunches up on the twine, placing them a good five or six inches apart to allow for good air circulation.

Herb bunch for drying

I use an unfolded paperclip to make a hanger for my herb bunches.

The same drying line also serves to dry thyme, basil, parsley, and other herbs later in the season. If I’m only drying a few bunches of herbs, I’ll hang them directly on the tea cup hooks, rather than installing the jute twine.

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My drying oregano is ready in four to six weeks; sometimes sooner if the weather isn’t overly humid. Once they’re fully dried, I cut off the rubber band, separate the dried sprigs, and crush the leaves. I store my crushed oregano in a Mason jar in a dark cupboard.

Bunch of oregano drying

A bunch of drying oregano hangs at the corner of my kitchen window with part of last year’s Thai chili pepper crop.

Are you drying oregano or other herbs this year?







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2 Responses to Drying oregano: Step-by-step instructions

  1. Maddy Karpiak says:

    Thanks for the tip on the oregano. A friend gave me a great tip for parsley. All you need to do is cut off the leaves (I use the flat leaf parsley) place it in a food processor to chop it into quarter inch size pieces and put it in a plastic container and directly into the freezer. It’s ready to go into any dish – hot or cold.

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