One of the hardest things I anticipated needing to adjust to as an HerbMama moving from the dry dry desert to the wet wet PNW was how exactly to dry my herbs. I asked the collective braintrust at facebook. I scoured google for ideas. I even made a pinboard. Then, as do most of the genius ideas in this house, the neatest option was discovered by my four year old: egg cartons. But this simple and effective drying tool has become so much more.
We get our eggs from a friend so we're always conserving cartons to return back to them and I had set out a bunch on the table earlier that morning. The girls and I had gone for one of our treasure tea walks around the neighborhood and Sevi dumped out her goods on the table to get ready for a little plant identification memory game. She takes great pride in knowing her herbs. I busied myself around the kitchen, as she got ready.
Eventually, I settled down for the show and came to the table. It was fantastic. She had taken an egg carton and placed all her plants in the little buckets. Sorting each different one into their own place. It was a perfect herbmama/unschooling moment. There is probably something brilliant I could say here about how children learn and process naturally and all that. But she's growing up so fast, and these pure moments of childlike expression have become really precious to me. So, I really just wanted to notice it as what it was for her: play. And I'll leave it at that.
So now we have a few egg cartons, each painted and decorated with our names on them for our walkabouts with an extra one mama is just using for the generous chamomile. The herbs are drying up quite nicely in there and we can snap the lid shut so the plants don't fall out, like they often do in drying baskets. They also stack nicely so we save counter space. After a few days to a week we put them up in little jars on their own. It's positively perfect. It works best of course for smaller flowers and bits, rather than leaves and large bunches and I'll share how we've been drying those in another post. But for our daily treasure hunts, it's just the right thing.
Love and Besos, Latisha
P.S. The wonderful folks at Poppy Swap were generous enough to interview me. Check it out to learn the secret to my herbal beginnings, if you haven't already.