Usually we think of late summer and fall as the harvest season around here. That's when tomatoes are ripe on the vine and if you're into that sort of thing, the canning jars and dehydrators come out for the preserving of produce for the winter.
|Jury-rigged Solar Dehydrator with Motherwort|
1. Harvest leaves before the plant flowers. (watch for plants getting tall and leggy or flower buds)
2. Harvest flowers when they smell fragrant.
3. Harvest roots after a frost in the fall.
4. Always make sure that you have properly identified your plant.
5. Never harvest all of the plants unless you plan to replant it or you grew it yourself.
6. Dry flowers with a low temperature, in a warm oven or in the sun.
7. Leaves can be dried at a higher temperature like an oven at 250 degrees.
8. For oil extraction use canola oil, it's cheap and won't go rancid.
9. Try to time your harvest so that you have all the time you need to process and store the herb right after you harvest it.
10. Label what you harvest. It's surprisingly hard to tell one green leafed dried thing from another.
And just for fun, I wanted to share this cool video about a community in Italy where they've discovered how to let plants sing!