About a month ago it was pretty much the end of basil season here North of Seattle. Any additional growth would be a “bonus”. This year I didn’t wait around until basil turned purple — I proactively cut best looking 3-6″ everywhere on the plants and hung them on the sweater drying rack:
There are also oregano sprigs laying across the top of the bars on the left-hand side. The stuff that was too small to hang on its own wound up on a window screen that we laid flat between two chairs.
We have been borrowing SeattleAuthor’s food dehydrator, and we did that again this year with an earlier batch of basil and oregano. Running at 115F – 125F it takes about 3-4 days. The drying rack took around two weeks. The rack wasn’t in a sunny spot, but I took care to separate the stems and it seems to have dried evenly and without incident.
I’m sure we’ll be wanting to borrow the dehydrator again, but the the rack required zero attention after set up, it consumed zero electricity, and it made zero noise. The capacity of the rack is also much greater than the dehydrator. I know people have been drying herbs for thousands of years without electricity but it still has come as a little bit of a revelation that it’s that easy to do without having something plugged in to something else.
And I’m guessing our sweaters this winter will smell faintly of Italian Seasoning.