Monday, June 17, 2013

Herb drying and whew! it's muggy

This year I will be seriously practicing my herb drying in hopes, that next year I can participate in our local farmers market. I have used the two Shaker peg racks in my kitchen to hang drying herbs over winter but now I have much more Greek oregano than in previous years. I've been snipping sprigs every few days and needed a system for quicker drying.

Drying tray foreground, encyclia orchid at left background
Wood working is not a innate talent of mine but I have completed my first solo project. Again, I am using scrap wood left over from another project, so I only had to work with my cordless drill and a staple gun. This is the first of several nifty drying trays:  for dimensions it's a wood frame measuring 24"x14", to which I attached some 1/4" metal screen, then screwed in four vinyl covered cup hooks at the corners for feet, allowing for good air circulation. Quick & easy and already in use.

We've had several days of 90 degree heat and suffocating humidity followed by rain. It's feeling pretty tropical here and we are all dripping with sweat the moment we go outside. Proof we are living under Amazonian conditions, my 22 year old orchid, an Encyclia cochleata is blooming! They normally bloom much later for me & after lots of fertilizing but I guess conditions are perfect on my front porch. I had divided this plant into four separate pots a few years ago. I gifted one, but my remaining three, with one being in a smaller six inch pot & unfortunately gnawed on by a vole, all have flower spikes! Too cool or not depending upon your perspective. Now that the raised bed planting is done, I can sit on the porch to admire the orchid flowers, the hummingbirds at the feeders and the newly arrived goldfinches snacking from the thistle seed sock. My two week vacation from work is over, many projects were accomplished, but rest & relaxation certainly wasn't one of them. I think once back on my work schedule I'll get more rest...

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