Here’s a helpful hint if you don’t have room for an herb garden, but you want to acquire fresh herbs for preserving for the winter months. Most nurseries will be marking down the cost of their seedlings right about now. Their plants have most likely been growing for about 5 months. This means that their basil, thyme, oregano, etc. are big, lush plants by now.
All you have to do is buy them, strip them of their leaves, and dry them in a dehydrator or a warm oven. I wrote about how to preserve dill here, and it’s pretty much the same process for all herbs.
It’s been a slow growing season here in Minnesota. I knew our basil plants wouldn’t produce enough this summer, so we bought 6 healthy seedlings (at $4.00 per plant), harvested some of the leaves, and then put the plants in our garden. I ended up with 2 pint jars of dried basil, just from what we pulled from the seedlings. If we had used all the leaves and tossed the plants, it would have been 4 jars.
So, if you do the math, that’s $24.00 for much more dried basil than what you would get in the herbs and spices aisle at the grocery store.