On Harvesting and Drying Sage


Judith Cox

Judith describes her simple process for drying sage.

I stopped and drank in the view this morning on my way to open the chicken house. The trees were putting on such a show. I moved here over thirty years ago at this time of year, and these were the colours that welcomed me. Every year they reassure me that I made the right choice. 

Colourful Fall Scene with red and organge tree leaves
Colourful Fall Scene

My sage was lovely this year. This is the garden sage that is wonderful to cook with, and it will do well in your garden if it is in a sheltered spot. I harvest about half of it and leave the rest. The snow swirls around it and protects the plant. 

Drying Sage

After I harvested my plant, I removed all the clean, healthy leaves, washed them, and baked them at 300 degrees in the oven for about ten minutes. After ten minutes, I turned the oven off and left the sage in until the oven cooled. I store the dried sage in a jar. 

  Sage dried in the oven
  Sage dried in the oven

Medicinal Benefits of Dried Sage

Sage is such an amazing herb. I use dried sage a lot in cooking. Savory chicken is made for sage, and sage adds a zip to any sauce. Sage has a history right back to the Romans, and it has been used medicinally since then. Sage is good for digestive issues and is now being recommended for depression and Alzheimer’s. While I know that it helps with digestion, I would want to see more studies to determine if it helps with depression and Alzheimer’s.  I have found that sage tea, which is high in antioxidants, is a great help if you have a cold or the flu. Sage tea is made with about a teaspoon of dried sage leaves, and I always add local honey as the tea is bitter.

The same method of drying sage in the oven also works for other herbs such as oregano, parsley, thyme, and almost any herb. I also dry my catnip, which means my kitchen suddenly fills with too many cats.


I adore chickadees. They seem so happy and friendly, and they eat so many mosquitoes. They hang around in flocks and live in the thick cedars. The too-many cats and I have observed that the chickadees seem to be very active right now. After some reading, I have discovered that they are storing seeds. They have great memories which means they can remember where they have stashed their seeds. I have found that they are very busy and loving the sunflower seeds that I have left for them. Often, they will stash their seeds deep into crevices to hide them from other animals. And so, they are dancing about eating and stashing and hiding and the too-many cats are highly amused. 

Cat in Window.
Harold is happily watching the action

Protecting the Garden

I have been busy collecting seeds and emptying pots and trying not to get distracted by the beautiful colours. A lot of my plants remain untouched, and they collect snow to protect the garden. I want to be sure to get a lot of seeds for our upcoming Seedy Saturday event in March. 

Enjoy your week. Judith. (Email:  sghorticultural@gmail.com)  Veggie Bites are available at https://sghorticultural.wixsite.com/website or https://gardeningcalendar.ca/articles/veggie-bites/

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