Even in mid winter when outside, the whole plant world seems to be sleeping, inside your home, you can still be reaping the bounty harvested the previous year. You may still be eating fruits and vegetables from store – potatoes, root vegetables, squash or pumpkins, preserves, pickles and chutneys. Drying herbs from your garden can also ensure that you have flavoursome editions to add to all your winter recipes.
Drying herbs from your polytunnel in late autumn or early winter can help to make sure you continue to eat well over the winter months. Rosemary, thyme, marjoram, parley, and many more herbs are all good for drying, as are many other commonly grown polytunnel herbs.
Drying your herbs is simple. All you have to do is spread out herbs on a warm windowsill until they are dry. These dry herbs can then be tied into bunches and strung up out of direct sunlight in your kitchen, where you will have easy access to them when cooking.
Bunches of herbs hanging in your kitchen will not only allow easy access when cooking but will also add attractive decoration to your home and will infuse your home with pleasant fragrances throughout the year.
For longer term storage of dried herbs you can also crumble them and place them in airtight jars or containers. Herbs stored in this way will last far longer and will certainly endure until you have access to fresh herbs again next spring/ summer.
Dried herbs are, of course, useful for a range of culinary applications, but they can also be used in a wide range of herbal remedies which could keep you in top condition and help you to look after your health during cold and flu season. Rather than turning to antibiotics – upon which we will not be able to rely for much longer – we should all embrace the power of plants we can grow at home to stay healthy.
There are plenty of sources online which will teach you about the non-culinary uses of herbs. In addition to medicinal uses, dried herbs can also be used to create a range of fragrant soaps and other beauty products. You can also enhance your home by making other items, such as pot pourri and herb-scented candles.
Making full use of the herbs you can grow in your polytunnel throughout the year is yet one more way of making the most of your polytunnel to live in a healthier, more ethical and more sustainable way.