Technique for drying herbs?

I've had a bumper crop of volunteer dill and cilantro. I would like to dry some of the dill to use throughout the year. When I pulled some up and turned them upside down to dry, the foliage all turned brown. I presume you must need to use some low heat or something. Anyone experience out there?
Thanks!
Liam
Davis, CA
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We have a food dehydrator that works well in Humid S. Jersey. I have a friend who took the seats out of a junk car fitted it with wire mesh and in full sun controlled the temp via the windows. Lost some peaches but it did what he wanted. He also used an old ice box to smoke his eel's. Frugal kind of guy.
Fire pit was 10 feet away and piped in to cool the smoke. All metal no plastic. Was good with Aquavit and perogies.
Bill
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Wow -- I didn't realize that there were misplaced Alaskans living in Jersey. You guys should immigrate. We'd be glad to have you!
We use buildings that look like outhouses to smoke our fish. Use old stovepipe to pipe cool smoke into the building. Since we don't have fruitwood or hickory up here, we use alder.
Anyway, for the OP, to dry stuff, hang it in a cool, dark spot. I dry loads of yarrow and comfrey every year, for medicinal use. I just throw a loop over the stems with baler twine and hang it in the pantry. Food grade stuff should be dried, then put in jars or bags, to keep the dust off. (Our house is dusty. I live on a beef cattle ranch. Between me, the dog and the cowboy, this place is *always* dusty.)
Best,
Jan, in Alaska 59N, 151W -- USDA Zone 3
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I lived in SE Alaska (Ketchikan, actually) back in the '70's. We used an old refrigerator to smoke salmon. We put a hot plate in the bottom of the fridge and put a cookie sheet filled with green alder chips on the hot plate. Worked great! Some friends of mine did build an "outhouse style" smoke house, similar to what you describe, but alas, through putting too much wood on the fire and subsequent inattention during the smoking process, they let the fire get too hot, so everything went up in smoke - smokehouse and all! Moral of story - don't drink too much beer while smoking fish. :)
As far as drying herbs goes, I now live in Colorado where our summers are hot and dry most of the time. I just hang herbs upside down in small bunches inside paper bags in a clean dry place. The paper bags keep dust and light away from the herbs, so they stay green after they dry. When dry, I package them in glass jars or plastic baggies and then put them in the deep freeze for at least 48 hours to kill any lingering "critters." After that, I just store them on a shelf in the pantry.
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Hi again Jan F
Is that for your own use, or on animals? What do you use yarrow for please?
Janet
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Gee, I just found this post. *blush*
I dry yarrow & comfrey for our own use. The yarrow goes into an infusion for my SO's feet, when they get itchy and start to crack between the toes. (Probably athlete's foot.) Some comfrey goes into that concoction, too. The comfrey is mostly for sprains/strains/burns (after they've been soaked with fresh aloe vera, when the burn is new)/etc.
Yarrow has a pretty extensive history of use by Alaska Native people. If I would clean my office, I would probably find my book that lists all of the uses that the various Native groups up here have for all of the "weeds" that grow around the state.
Jan
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Urine kills athlete's foot. I'll leave at that.
Bill
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Yeah it does, but it's hard to get the SO to go out into the yard during the winter to pee on his feet. At these latitudes, we have 9 months of winter and 3 months of damned poor sledding.
Jan 59N, 151W
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I hope at least you have this as an option without fear of indecent exposure law stuff.
Bill
PS If you were to send salmon to friends in the lower 48 any suggestions?
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Our house sits on 220 acres -- anyone who can see someone taking a pee in our yard is either trespassing or flying over. (A neighbor with one of those hang gliders with a chainsaw motor buzzes us once in awhile.)
Are you asking how to cook salmon or how to ship it to the small states? Which kind of salmon? There are five kinds. The silvers are starting to run right now. To pull this back on topic for rec.gardens, use some of your homegrown dill when you cook salmon.
Jan
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Hello Jan. I'd just like to know of small mail order folks that can ship to the lower small states. I've found two.
I use http://www.catchofthesea.com/ Oregon folks.
Iv'e looked at but can't afford http://salmonvillage.com/cgi-bin/pi.cgi?c:time+t:files/en/global/gotoHome .t
My hope is you know of a smll local salmon fisherman that can can and ship.
Hope all is not too warm up your way!
Bill
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Jan Flora wrote:

Alton Brown on FoodTV ("Good Eats") showed a clever way to dry herbs. A small bundle is held in boiling water for 5 seconds and then dowsed in ice water for 5 more seconds. Individual sprigs are placed on furnace air filters. 4 filters provides 3 spaces. The stack is attached to the front of a box fan with bungee cords. Run the fan for 12 hours on each side. After 24 hours the herbs are still green and can be rubbed between the hands. I'm going to try it soon.
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Alton Brown' show _Good Eats_ on _The Food Network_ did a whole 30 minute episode on drying herbs. He made his own rig. If I remember correctly he used panty hose and a box fan. You might want to look it up.
bk
GardenDude wrote:

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Couldn't find it on the Food Network site, but did find a mention of it on a site where they grow, um, a different type of herb.
Then found this site: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season7/Herbs/HerbalPreservation.htm
Richard
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