Why would I write about Basil? One might wonder. Well, there are a few reasons, but mainly, because it’s heavenly!
This is just my opinion, but it’s free. Won’t cost ya nuthin. 🙂
Basil is my utmost favorite herb to grow for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a plant that is lovely to behold. Secondly, it’s an aromatic, so it smells wonderful. These two things alone make it absolutely heavenly!
Basil is an easy plant to grow, and it is well worth the minimal effort to do so when you add it to your favorite dishes; because there is a huge difference between the fresh stuff and the dried out stuff you get at the store. HUGE!
I spent most of my life using the stuff from the store in the little bottles that sat in my cupboard, for most likely an eon at a time. It wasn’t until about 7 or 8 years ago, when I started experimenting with new recipes, (Thank you Rachel Ray! Love you!) that I thought I would try using some fresh basil. Wow! I will never go back! (Unless I have no choice.) And let’s be honest; you can buy a plant about 9 or 10n inches tall from Walmart for about 3 dollars, so it’s not expensive at all. And if you take care of it, you can continue to use it for a long time. I actually feel a bit sad about all the years I cooked without fresh basil and how much better it could have been…..
I am into organic food, as much as possible, and growing your own is the best way to be sure what is happening to your food. I was only able to do container gardening this year, so that meant limited space and being picky about my choice of plants to grow. Hands down, tomatoes and basil. Top of the list. This year, I let my basil go to seed, as I wanted to harvest some of the seeds for next year. Did I mention basil is easy to grow? Well, yesterday, I noticed these little plants growing between the rocks in the new walkway I had recently completed and added some topsoil and flowering chintz to. I thought it sure looked a lot like basil; so I picked a few of them and took a whiff. Sure enough, the things were growing wild and I hadn’t needed to do a thing!
This little fella in the picture I have included was the biggest and healthiest one. He was not a Walmart plant, since I wanted to ensure I was getting the most organic plants possible. I bought a few plants elsewhere last spring at planting time, and he is a clean reproduction of those plants! So, I put him in an empty pot I had and brought him indoors for the soon approaching winter. I found a nice sunny spot near a window in my bedroom where I can enjoy it’s lovely aroma and beautiful foliage…and dream about the things I can cook with it!