Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Thursday 9 August 2012

Preserving the Harvest - dehydrating

I love my dehydrator! I have a Excalibur 5 tray dehydrator and oh how I wish I had bought a larger version.

I picked a load of Lavender and Sage for drying today - I gave them a quick rinse in water then dried them all gently on a tea towel. Then I laid them out on the dehydrator trays. Three trays of Sage and two of Lavender

It took two nights and a day for the herbs to dry to the point where I could crumble them into clean jars - our house smelt wonderful the whole time :-)

We have our own electricity supply from the pv's on the garage roof, so I use an electric dehydrator. Other people dry stuff  in the bottom oven of an Aga, or similar stove, and if we had sunshine we could use a solar dehydrator ( except of course there has been very little of that around here, this summer!). You can also dry herbs in bunches in an airing cupboard or hanging from the kitchen ceiling. I find stuff up in the rafters gets covered in cobwebs and fly poo, here so do not like doing it that way!

Because the dehydrator heater is on the very lowest setting it used about 2 Kw of electricity so cost about 30 p plus my time, of course - except, of course during the daytime, if we are not using electricity for other purposes we don't have to pay!

And this is what I had at the end - two very small jars of dried herbs. but home grown and organically produced :-) And they smelt terrific :-)

Thank you for dropping by xxx

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, you do have a big dehydrator! Nice! I'm got a load of lavender still to harvest and bring in, I've already dried some of my hollyhocks for use later on, could do a few more I think.


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