Herb cultivation has been a part of society for a long time. Different areas have their own styles when it comes to cultivation and this guide will show you one of the best styles there is. Like all herbs, curing has a specific set of processes that yield the most effective results. This methodology uses the hang dry method in which the plant is harvested and hung to air dry for a few days.
After harvesting, plants don’t die immediately. It takes several days, and the flower is still capable of producing chlorophyll during this initial curing process. Proper curing removes chlorophyll, also removes an unappealing flavor from the plant. Herb that is cured with too much light exposure generally contains more chlorophyll which makes it worse for smoking. Although herbs that are smoked with still some moisture and not fully cured is not uncommon in our culture. It may be good, but it won’t be great.
Here is a step-by-step guide to properly cure herb
- When the herb is ripe for the picking, harvest them by bulk and prepare them for hanging.
- Hang the flowers upside down from a wire, oriented in a fashion much like Christmas ornaments. This is called line-curing. Make sure that there is ample space between each flower. Keep in mind that the room must also be dry, dark, and should have good air circulation.
- These herbs cure on the line for around 5-12 days, depending on density and quantity of the herb in the drying room.
- Don’t remove any leaves when you harvest. The leaves curl around the flower as they dry, which provides a protective layer for the plant throughout the rest of the curing process. They also slow down the drying process, which yields a slower cure and a fine quality product.
- To know when the herb is almost finished being cured, check to see if the flowers are already dry on the outside and the stems still contain a little moisture.
- Now you are testing to see if your herb is ready by using the bending stem technique. You would want to bend the stem a few times on intervals slowly and see if it snaps. If it doesn’t, it means that the plant still contains a lot of moisture and it should be left to dry for a few more days.
- After line-curing, we move on to the next phase which is bag-curing. We put each plant into individual paper bags for long-term storage. Paper bags have the property to absorb moisture which would aid the herb to be stored for a longer period of time.
- The paper bags should then be checked every day to see if it has an even circulation. If not, you may turn the flowers
- When you reach the desired stem snap, carefully migrate the flowers into clean plastic bags. Also, check these daily and open then for a few minutes to remove any excess moisture.
- Long-term storage should only be for the plants that have to reach their ideal moisture level. During this time, dry flowers can then be trimmed off the branch. Now take the bags of dried herb and store them underground in clean, food-grade pickle barrels. The earth maintains a constant temperature and the curing process should be over in the next few months, yielding herbs that would be considered to be of finest quality.
Curing Storage Containers
Nylon Storage Bags
Humidity Control Pack
Hygrometer / Thermometer