In East Anglia, this is Herb Harvesting Day. According to ancient tradition, today is the best day of the year to harvest herbs meant for healing. It’s a good time to pick herbs for magical or culinary uses too.
First, plan to pick herbs around midmorning. Wait until the morning dew has evaporated and everything is dry. By noon, though, the sun begins to affect the essential oils in the herbs. So they are strongest at midmorning.
Use garden scissors to cut the stems. In some cases, like with rosemary or thyme, it works best to cut sprigs and strip the leaves off later. Others such as basil or sage can be picked by the leaf. Place the herbs in a basket to keep them safe while you pick more. Give thanks to the plants and encourage them to keep growing.
Indoors, bundle sprigs with string and hang in a warm, dark place to dry. Individual leaves are best dried flat on screens. When fully dry, store them in labeled jars.