Monday, May 10, 2010
Posted by Kate at 6:24 AM
This seemed utterly unremarkable to me. I wasn't going to post about it. But my husband thought it was nifty-clever. So. Here's how I dry comfrey leaves: between two old window screens. We have a pile of these that we hauled out of a dumpster, or maybe somebody gave them to us when they redid their windows. Can't remember. The storm windows had more the more obvious application of covers for cold frames (mostly yet to be built). But the window screens hung out in the garage for a while before it occurred to me to use them this way.
The screens allow good air circulation for quick drying, prevent the leaves from blowing away in a slight wind, and make the leaves dry down very flat, which is handy for storing them after drying. Plus it's a low-tech, grid-free, cheapskate way of drying. Yes, it works even when laid on grass, though it's faster on the driveway. If rain threatens, I can pick up the screens and stick them in the shed, regardless of the degree of drying so far achieved. Having the screens hang out somewhere prominently outside is also a good reminder to me to keep cutting more leaves for drying. I use the dried comfrey leaves steadily over the winter as a feed supplement for the hens. And it's best to have the comfrey thoroughly dried if I want to use it as fertilizer with garden seedlings. The plant is so damn vital that cut leaves will simply grow new plants if put into the ground without first being well dried. I suppose it might not be a bad way of drying leaves if you wanted them for medicinal purposes as well.
Besides, a steady harvest of leaves from comfrey plants helps keep them from total world domination. We've got six comfrey plants on our 2/3 acre, and two of those in the main garden, so this is a real concern.