Thursday, October 26, 2017

CONFESSION OF A BASIL GROWER



I am extremely proud of my basil. 

Why?  I started from scratch.  As in, from seeds.  Got my basil from  MNLGrowkit.   From this mother plant, I researched on how to propagate my basil.  


3 months after transplanting

PROPAGATING BASIL FROM CUTTINGS:


Very easy.  I just cut around 4 inches from the mother plant.  I choose the one on top, that has not yet flowered.  Then I put the cuttings into water, wait a couple days for the roots to appear.  And then they are all ready to be transplanted into the garden.



Sometimes, when I get too busy, I will completely forget about my rooting basil.  Then I will discover that the roots have grown too long.  No worries... longer roots  means stronger root system.  This has a higher success to grow healthy when transplanted.  


WHAT HAVE I DISCOVERED ABOUT MY BASIL:



That they love direct sunlight.  I placed them on the east side of the garden, where there is sunlight for 5 hours a day.  They did not wilt in summer as long as you water them at least twice a day.

Basil shoo away weeds.  My basil is planted side by side my tomatoes.  The tomatoes were infested with too much weeds that I needed to deweed twice a week.  But lo and behold! My basil didn't need de-weeding.  Very minimal weed growth.

The more I prune or harvest, the healthier they become.  

I just so LOVE the idea of just picking fresh basil leave whenever I need it.  It gives me o much happiness, when the hubby is cooking spaghetti sauce and he blurts out, "hey, let's put some basil" and I giddily go to the garden, clip as many as my heart desires, wash it a bit, and put it on home cooked spaghetti sauce. YUM!



PESTO MAKING, OUR FIRST ATTEMPT:


INGREDIENTS FOR OUR PESTO SAUCE







No food processor... no problem. We started with garlic and salt in our oldie but trusted mortar and pestle. 






Slowly we put in the basil leaves.



This is our manual stirrer.  We used it when we were ready to pour in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  We didn't have pine nuts or almonds when we were making this.  Maybe next time we will put in nuts for added flavor.








For the ingredients that we used, we made pesto sauce good for four people, and enough to be stored in this small bottle.  We placed it inside the freezer and consumed it two days after.  No change in taste.  Still yummy!





HEALTH BENEFITS OF BASIL:


Basil is known to offer protection against unwanted bacterial growth.  It also contain anti-inflammatory properties.  Rich in Vitamin A, Magnesium, Vitamin K, manganese.  The health benefits of basil seems to be endless.  

So what's next for this basil gardener/farmer?  Oh well, we would love to experiment using pesto as a base for our next pizza project!