Before recorded history, people have been growing, drying, and using herbs. The earliest documentation of herbs for medical use can be found in the Ebers Papyrus from Egypt which is dated around 1550 BCE and documents over 850 plant used as medicines, including cannabis, castor bean, aloe, juniper, and mandrake.
Currently, many of the same herbs are used to add flavor to dishes while cooking, and scores of chefs will grow their own and hang the harvested plants up to dry. While fresh herbs taste best, drying allows them to be stored for future use, though some of the aromatic qualities are lost in the process.
Herbs are generally still bundled and hung in a cool, dry place as they dehydrate – which can lead to issues such as uneven drying, mold growth where the herbs are bundled, or loss of flavor if kept in an area with exposure to direct sunlight. While hanging the bundles of herbs is still common practice, using a hanging drying rack results in herbs that dry faster, more evenly, and - in cases where a mesh cover is used – are free of outside impurities.
The Zipper Dry Racks from GeoPot are a great example of the type of hanging drying rack that will make drying herbs more efficient and with better results regarding both the flavor and aromatics. The mesh that the rack is made from improves air circulation around the herbs, helping them dry evenly, while the zippered enclosure protects them from houseflies and other pests that can cause impurities. The Flower Tower Dry Racks from GeoPot are equipped with a center strap to prevent bowing in the middle, which can be an issue with other racks that can cause uneven drying.
The Flower Tower Dry Racks can be hung in any room, leaving more space in the kitchen for food preparation. When not in use, they can be collapsed and stored flat until next season. Before choosing a rack, it’s important to choose the area you’ll be placing it in and measure the space for diameter as well as height. It’s a good idea to add a few extra inches to your measurement, as the rack may hang lower when it’s full.
There are other methods for drying herbs, such as using an oven or an electric dehydrator, but to preserve the time-tested method of air-drying, a hanging dryer rack is proven to have excellent results while avoiding the problems that can result from bundling.
Far from being just another garden tool, hanging drying racks are a distinct part of the history in how herbs have been used and processed for their beneficial qualities. Flower Tower Dry Racks are available at www.geopot.com, so click through and start your own dry herb stockpile today!