The Royal Herb…Basil

A fresh pizza is kicked up about 5 notches with fresh basil. IMG_2424

Pasta and handpicked basil… DE-LE-CIOUS!

Most things taste better with fresh basil. I love food, like most people, ok maybe more,  and fresh herbs make food taste so much better.

Basil pesto, dried basil, and of course in it can be used in so many wonderful cocktails.

This are many cultivars of  basil to keep you busy with this precious herb for a long time.

Basil, Ocimum basilicum derives it’s name from the Greek word basileus, meaning “royal”.  I know it has a high status in our kitchen so I’ll go with calling it a royal herb. We make sure it’s always close by.

We grew this basil from cuttings of left over basil from the market. You can never have enough basil growing around the house, keep it growing in the window from cuttings and your garden will always be stocked.

It looks fantastic as an ornamental and grows like crazy in the hotter months. Good thing we eat so much of it.

You can also blend it with olive oil and freeze it in ice cube trays for the winter months.

To grow it in your window garden, just clip the ends and remove any leaves so it won’t create swamp water and rot. Then place the trimmed sprigs in a clear glass jar and put in the window.

The clear glass helps the light shine through and stimulate root growth.

In a few days you will see white roots growing. You can plant it when there is a nice amount of root growth. IMG_2426

Can you see a pattern emerging with window garden clippings? It’s the same process, clip the ends, clean up the leaves, stick in water.

I’m serious it’s really easy and extremely satisfying to watch these things grow! Your kids will get a kick out of it too.

The plant will take off if given moist, nutrient rich soil in a low to medium light area. Too much sun will damage the leaves.

Harvest by clipping off no more than 25% of the plant at a time and it will keep coming back. IMG_2423 (1)

At some point the stem may become woody, this is a great time to start a new plant as the flavor will change and not be as sweet.

That’s ok because you will always have some rooting in the window, ready to be planted.

Basil is great for animals and people and has a ton of healing properties like being an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and it even keeps insects at bay.

If you let your plant go to flower, the bees and other pollinators will visit it as well.

Save the seeds and try planting directly in the soil next year. You can do it!

Enjoy!

S

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