by Backyard Homestead HQ
Herbs and Spices
The general principles are the same: pick or cut off the leaves you need - as long as you leave at least an inch of the plant, they will continue to grow just fine.
Young leaves have a more vibrant flavor.
Mint leaves taste better if the plant hasn't flowered yet.
It's best to harvest when the plant gets 14 or so hrs of daylight each day.
Wrap the sprigs in a damp paper towel.
Put the paper towel inside of a plastic bag, seal it.
Trim the stem's ends, put them into a small glass of water.
Cover with a plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination.
Pat it dry after rinsing
Separate the bunches into small groups
Tie the stems with clean twine or string
Hang the stems upside down in a cool, dry, dark area
Give the mint between 1-2 weeks to dry
Store in an airtight container
Rinse and clean your mint.
Get out your tray.
Lay the mint sprigs out separately.
Preheat your device.
Check mint and herbs regularly.
Store your dried mint!
Stack layers between food-grade, plastic grids.
Crush pre-freeze leaves to make mint flakes.
Run the leaves in a food processor & freeze-dry to make mint leaf powder.
Leaving the stem is a personal choice.
Freeze dryer tray can load up to 3 layers.
The general rule of thumb for plants is this: they can either focus on growing or they can focus on seeding. Cutting them back will help them focus on growing - and should delay them going to seed.