The gardens are still lush, pretty and producing. I hate to cut things back, but the season is winding down and it is time to start cutting the herb garden back and preserving the harvest. Some things like tarragon are just now starting to put on blooms, so I will leave them for a little while longer, but the garlic chive seed heads, bay leaf and lemon verbena need to be harvested now.
Both lemon verbena and bay leaf are tropicals and need to be brought inside before a cold snap takes them. The garlic chive seed heads need to be cut now so that I can let them dry in a place where they will not drop their seeds before I can collect them.
While I was at Prepper Camp this year I purchased a nifty net hanging food dryer. It is called a Stack!t. It is great for drying herbs and other leafy things that my Excaliber blows around too much. The net sides and shelves allow good air circulation, and the zippered access doors make it easy to add or remove one kind of herb while not disturbing the rest. But the best thing about the Stack!t is that it can be hung by either end. There are D-rings and hanging straps on both ends, so you can collapse the whole unit, herbs and all and invert it, then hang it again from the other end. This way you can turn the herbs without handling them. Love it!!The only drawback is that Skittles thinks it is a toy for her and she bats it around and scales the sides like she is rock climbing... (bad kitty...).
Since Hurricane Matthew was on its way, there was a potential for the winds and rain to ruin some of
my harvests, so I have been cutting things back and drying all week. Yesterday the breeze was high, but the air was dry, so I hung the Stack!t from the eave of the house and let the breeze help do the drying. I brought the dryer in before the rains started yesterday evening. Today the dryer is hanging in the sitting room, snug and dry out of the rain. The lemongrass blades are already dry, but the bay leaves and the garlic chive seed heads will still be drying for a few days.
All in all I am very happy with my purchase. It is great for herbs and other leafy things, but I wouldn't recommend it for wet things like apple slices since it is fabric and would absorb the liquid and become sticky. The Stack!t has a nice storage case that can be hung on a hook or on a hanger in the closet. But here at Heart's Ease Cottage the Stack!t will be employed full time drying my medicinal herbs and culinary herbs until the frost comes!