I love mint
; it's one of the easiest weedy garden plants to grow. It doesn't need care and spreads like crazy. My only problem is that I'm just too lazy to cut and hang little bundles to dry for tea all the time. So I built this clamp/rack for quick hanging of the mint plants and herbs
-- no more bundle tying.
My inspiration came from my uncle's tobacco
farm where the leaves are hung on racks with spikes piercing the leaves. I'm sure this has probably been done before by gardeners around the world, but I thought I should share my version. Using two 1x2 furring strips, a hinge, screw hooks, and some carriage bolts with wing nuts, this can be assembled pretty quickly. A drill and some pliers are the only tools needed.
More after the break, hit the link below.
Mint Drying Rack(click thumbnails to view gallery)
Make this as large or small as you want; mine is about six feet long. Start by laying the two furring strips together and attaching a small hinge to the end to form large tweezers. Drill a hole on the opposite end from the hinge and stick a carriage bolt through; for longer drying racks you'll need an extra carriage bolt in the center. Finally, attach two little screw hooks to the ends for hanging the whole thing from some chains.
To use it, just harvest the herbs you want to dry and clamp them into the rack using the carriage bolts with wing nuts. Don't add too many plants; good air flow between the leaves is important. Now hang it up out of direct sunlight until the leaves are crispy; then you can just pull off the leaves with your hands and store them for making tea
or for cooking. Another way to do this is with an herb dryer
that we posted in January 2008.