As the title says, we had a “Dehydration Day” over the weekend, wherein we dehydrated thyme and oregano. Spearmint was picked, but that is still in the refrigerator waiting to be processed.
We used an Excaliber Food Dehydrator, model 3926T, and we had it running in a room we don’t use very often. It is a quiet machine (in my opinion), but with it being in the room that it was in, no one could hear it at all. It has nine trays available for use, but we only used four since the herbs were puffy.
After dehydrating the thyme, which took about 3 hours at 105ºF, we only got about 1/4 cup of thyme. Before drying, the stems were very wiry and puffed up on the tray, but when dry, the leaves are tiny and whatever stem gets into the jar will not present any problems. The thyme is very aromatic, but all of it will probably go into one batch of spaghetti sauce according to our dad. Oh well, if we keep it up until frost, we should have a lot of thyme saved up until next season.
The oregano took a lot longer to dehydrate. It took about 6 hours to dry completely at the same temperature as the thyme. Since the leaves of oregano are substantially bigger than thyme leaves, we got a bit more oregano than thyme when all was said and done.
Please note that we just got this dehydrator, so we are still experimenting with temperatures and how long to leave our herbs in. We hope to eventually make things like beef jerky and fruit roll ups and also to dry various kinds of mint for tea. So far, we’re quite happy with the dehydrator and being able to preserve the herbs we grow!