Harvesting

Leaves - pick on a dry sunny morning after the dew is off and before the hot sun, in spring or early summer just before the blossoms form when the natural oils are at their best. Leaves can be used fresh, dried or frozen. Examples are peppermint, other mints, lemon balm, oregano, etc.,etc.

Seeds - pick when barely ripe, in the early morning. Examples are fennel seed, caraway seed, anise, coriander, etc.

Roots - dig up the plant, trim off the rest of the plant, wash the roots, trim off the side shoots, split in half lengthwise if too large to dry quickly. You can air dry them or in a 100 degree oven so the volatile oils won't be affected unfavourably. To preserve flavour, keep the roots in larger pieces until you are ready to use them. At that time, grind, powder, or pound them to help release the flavours. Examples are dandelion root with chicory for a coffee substitute, licorice, ginseng.

Flowers- pick at their prime - their loveliest and most fragrant. Examples are chamomile, feverfew, anise hyssop, hops, calendula, sweet violet, Johnny jump-ups, hibiscus, red clover, rose, cowslip, borage, California poppy, lavender.