The harvesting of herbs may be at any points of the Wheel , such as some may prefer to harvest during the early autumn . It all depends on the results you wish to achieve . Information on the methods of harvesting , drying and storage of herbs is available in any good herbal book . On this page , I have provided some simple common hints which may be useful on the harvesting to the final storage of your herbs .
FOR ROOTS :
They are best harvested during the waning phase of the moon till the few days beofre the New Moon . Once they are removed from the ground , be sure to wash them thoroughly under running water . Shake away any excess water before laying them out evenly on sheets of paper or newspaper . Turn them over once or twice during the course of the day to ensure even drying .
To store them , you may ground them up into powder form and store them in an air-tight ,clean sterilizes glass jar . In this way , they would be easy for use anytime . ( Any form of moisture is a definite no-no . Store them on shelves , not refrigerated . )( * Do check them occasionally for any signs of mould )
FOR FLOWERS :
Most would say that the best time to harvest flowers or the tops of the plant is usually the morning ( preferably before noon ) ( Or during the waxing phase of the moon ) . When harvesting them , you can choose to use your bare hands ( the use of gloves is advised especially for plants which you may be allgeric to or for plants with thorns or sharp edges ) or a simple kitchen knife or even the bolline . ( which ever you choose )
To dry the flowers , there are several methods ( I have provided some here ) . For instance :
(1) you can place them on pieces of paper , lay them out evenly and turn them over once or twice ( as you wish ) to ensure even drying ;
(2) You can also choose to bind the stems of the herbs together with a string and hang them upside down near a window to dry overnight for about two days or so . ( Depending on the level of humidity in the room and the surrounding environment ) .
(3)Alternatively , you may dry the flowers in a partially shaded area outdoors . Lay them out either on a piece of newspaper or a flat woven basket ( If you have one ) . Let the heat of the day to do the drying . Place them somewhere you can keep watch easily ( Such as not to let your pet dog or cat to mess them up ) . Be sure also to take the dried herbs indoors before sunset to prevent the evening moisture or dew to settle on them . ( This is mostly for herbs that are harvested during spring and summer . This method may not be as effective for after summer months ) .
To store them , place them in an air-tight , sterilizes glass jar ( Like wise , no moisture ) . Alternatively , you can store them refrigerated provided they are stored in ziplock bags . *Do check them occasionally for any signs of mould .