Borage is a sturdy, adaptable herb that will thrive in the garden or in a patio container. Although borage loves sunshine, it will grow in nearly any climate, and thrive in most soil types as long as the soil drains well. Leave a few bright purple blooms on the stem to attract honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. You can easily dry borage and use it in medicinal teas, or to add color and flavor to soups and salads. Gather borage in the morning while the plant is well hydrated.
Air Drying Method
Harvest borage by cutting the long stems with scissors or garden shears just before the borage is ready to flower. Harvesting borage after it flowers will result in considerable loss of flavor.
Gather eight to 12 stems and tie them together with a string or a rubber band. Put the borage in a brown paper bag and gather the bag around the ends of the stems.
Hang the bag in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area. The borage will dry in two to four weeks, depending on the temperature in the room. Although you can hang the borage to dry without a paper bag, the bag will contain any seeds or stems that fall, and will keep the borage free of dust and insects.
Crumble the dried borage and store it in an airtight container.
Using a Dehydrator
Set the thermostat on the dehydrator between 95 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a humid climate, you may need to set the thermostat as high as 125 F to allow for the moisture in the air.
Rinse the borage under cool tap water and shake the borage to remove excess moisture. Place the borage on the dehydrator tray in a single layer.
Check the progress of the borage every 15 to 30 minutes. When the borage is dry enough to crumble easily with your fingers, remove it from the dryer and allow it to cool. Crumble the borage and store it in an airtight container.
About this Author
M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.