Gardening Success

Well my goal of a blog a month has been a bust. Last update was March. I guess my first blog says it all. Full time job, going to college, racing bikes, kayaking, volunteering with the Mountaineers has apparantly filled my plate. Oh, and then there is the whole relationship thing too!!

This was the year I decided to try a little gardening in my compact yard since moving in four years ago. It took a couple attempts on the basil due to the lousy late spring weather.

I originally planted on Memorial weekend only to have heavy June rains and bugs devour the plants in a few short weeks. I planted lettuce, hot peppers, cilantro and celery about the same time. Not sure what happened, but I never saw any celery – think it was all parsely. The cilantro didn’t get used much and the peppers, well they suffered a similiar fate as the basil, but didn’t die entirely and came back enough to produce one lonely jalapeno by late August. It’s about an inch long. Better be hot!!

Lone Jalapeno

 Jean nursed the basil and tomatoes while I was on vacation, keeping everything alive and healthy. Since the tomatoes were not ripening we decided to drastically prune them back, leaving only the stalks with fruit and enough leaves for photosynthesis to occur. One week later we’re starting to see a few turn orange. They’d been about the same size and green for 3 weeks and the plants were going wild. More on the tomatoes when it’s harvest time!

3 of the 5 Potted Plants Plucked. Each plant made one batch +

Back to the basil. I planted one flat from the Farmer’s market – $20.00 for 18 plants. They were planted in various places using different techniques from in ground, pots, full sun, some shade, potting soil or more natural soils.

Ingredients: 1/3 cup nuts (~2oz), 2 cups basil (packed), 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 cup EVOO

It’s cheaper than buying the basil already grown, but not a cheap food to make after purchasing pine nuts ($1.25/ounce), parmesan and extra virgin olive oil!!! And much tastier than what you buy – though I have found the pesto at Costco and the San Remo brand to be good.

First you pluck the leaves, careful to leave out the stems. No flowers either!
Then you find a recipe, because who can remember all this stuff anyway.
http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fresh_basil_pesto/
Jean adding the cheese to one of nine batches
Making pesticles…. pour fresh basil pesto into ice cube trays. Or, if  making large batches this old pie tin works too. The latter will require cutting into cubes.
Store pesticles in fridge until you have the craving for some fabulous green pasta.

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