Herbs & Children: Collecting and Drying Herbs for the Herbal Harvest

| 8/4/2011 3:31:04 PM

L.KuhlmanLisa is a writer, budding photographer and herb enthusiast. She enjoys poking around in the garden, creating in the kitchen and reading a good book (when she’s not answering the call of “Mom!” from her five children).  

Congratulations to the winners of the Herbal Roots Zine Giveaway! A. Donovan and Mikayla will each receive the July issue of Herbal Roots. Loridean has been selected as the lucky winner of an entire year's subscription. Enjoy!

The twins and I wandered outside the other day to survey the state of the herb garden together. It was humming with bees and naturally decorated with butterflies—delightful! After some discussion, we determined the herbs were ready for a mid-summer haircut. Each girl set to work with a pair of scissors and instructions to cut at about halfway down the plants.

Butterflies and bees are frequent visitors to herb gardens.
Photo by raymondgobis/Courtesy Flickr

As we cut, we put each herb in its own pile. Sometimes they would have to stop and inspect the plants before they added another handful, comparing the shape of the leaves or how the leaves were situated on the stems to be sure it was going to the right place. Every so often we took a break to have a tasting party and decide what kinds of things we might like to make with the herbs we were preparing to dry in our kitchen. 

After collecting the herbs, I assigned Claire and Olivia each several piles to divide into handfuls and secure the bunches with rubber bands. They had a little trouble at first, but after I explained it was much like putting a ponytail in their doll's hair, they caught right on and chattered though the hour just like ladies at a salon!