Heavy duty herb drying screens measure 24 inches by 24 inches by 3 inches tall and weigh 7 lbs each. Handmade at Horizon Herbs. Suggested use:
1) Solar dehydration of tomatoes, apples, peaches, apricots, pears, figs, plums or other fruits. All fruits must be completely ripe, destoned and halved or cut to size before laying out on the screens. Place screen in the full sun, elevated from the ground, and turn fruit occasionally until completely dry. Protect the fruit from nighttime dew. We find that ripe tomatoes dehydrate after 2 or 3 days. Solar dehydrated fruit is best stored in glass jars for later use.
2) Dehydration in the shade. Many herbs do best when shade dried. Harvest the mature herb and place on screen in a warm, dry place where there is good air flow. Many people use an attic and a fan for this. Screens should be blocked up so that air can circulate above, below, and around the drying herb. Turn herb occasionally to promote even drying. Most herbs will dry in 2 or 3 days, and should then be stored in plastic bags or glass jars for later use.
3) Dryer (dehydrator) shelves. A simple cabinet may be constructed with runners that allow screens to be pulled in and out like drawers. It is suggested that runners be placed at 7 inch intervals in order to allow 4 inches between each screen, enough room for adequate air passage. If supplemental heater and fan is installed at base of cabinet, then it may be effective to place the runners only 5 inches apart. Temperature should be regulated to between 90 and 115 degrees F.
4) Seed processing. Those of you who already own our seed cleaning screens will recognize the mesh on the Herb Drying Screens as a #5 mesh (12 strands per inch). This larger screen may prove very useful in drying seeds, sizing seeds, and removing chaff and dust from seeds. (see seed cleaning screens)
5) Herb processing. It is often very useful to have a sturdy tray for working on valuable herbal material. These screens are very adequately sized for serious herb cleaning enterprises. For instance, I used the screen for working on dried Hyssop herb and found that there was adequate surface are for separating stem from flower clusters and removing all foreign material, unwanted leaves, etc.
6) Herb grinding. Place the screen flat on a table and put the dried herb on the screen. Gently work the dried herb against the screen with the palms of the hands. Excessive force might punch out the screen, but it is pretty well stapled in, reasonable pressure will be well tolerated. Fine herbal material will fall through the screen and may be collected from the tabletop. This method can be useful in creating tea blends and in grinding herb for tincture making or encapsulation. Large stem material or other fibrous portions of the herb are left behind on the screeen. This material is usually less useful and may be composted.
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