Monday, July 11, 2011

July's Herb~

July's herb/Summer's herb...has to be Basil~

Basil has a long history of use; the herbalist john Parkinson in 1629 said of it, " The ordinary Basil is in a manner wholly spent to make sweete or washing waters among other sweete herbs..." and also "the smell thereof is so excellent that it is fit for a king's house."

Basil is one of those herbs that grows best in the hottest of climates, or in a greenhouse/conservatory. With the first hint of frost it is gone until the next year.

Basil is equally at it's best in the culinary arena or in the medicinal one.

There are many varieties of Basil and each one has it's own special attributes.

Genovese...compact and highly aromatic...used in Italian cooking along with simple dishes such as sliced tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese....

Purple exotically dark with clove like very small and grows well in pots, excellent in salads or teas.

Crispum...has curly leaves with the ability to outgrow all others.

Parts that can be used...leaves and the essential oil from all of the varieties.

Basil essential should not be used during pregnancy without the guidance of your health care person.

Want to know more about this delightful herb...just ask...

Bea Kunz
Sage Hill Farms


Paula Lee Bright said...

I adore basil and add it to almost everything during summer when it's right outside my door. And it's so easy to grow! If a person has sun, even in a tiny yard, it's a piece of cake. I usually make a few plantings, and take them out when they get older and woody, as they do in St. Louis heat. Is it different where you are, Bea? :)

BeaK. said...

Paula, so happy to see you on my blog~

Since basil is an annual, wherever one lives it will die at the first sign of cold. It can be moved inside if in a poy, but it is subject to different issues inside, aphids, white fly, etc.

I never try to extend the life of my basil, and too it will be woody by seasons ending. I pull it out , discard, and plant fresh in the spring. It will self-sow from seed dropped on the ground if the soil isn't disturbed too much over the winter-but that isn't a given, so I don't depend on it. I planted 6 plants in the spring and then one sprang up from last just never know.

BeaK. said...

That should be pot...not poy...will I ever learn to proof ??