Howdy! I've been gardening pretty serious on this plot for nearly 15 years, and it's time to take my adolescent garden into the next phase of development...a central Tejas mature edible forest art project and wildlife habitat. Jump in anytime, your comments are invaluable so please leave one.
Zone 8b, Austin~TEXAS, Crestview
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
My favorite herb, bar none is Sweet Basil. Until Sunday I had 9, 2 1/2 foot bushes. Then came harvest. With a home brew in hand, hubby demanding silence because he had a 10 page paper due and me unable to stifle my giddiness about the tour...I set to work in the garden and make my favorite herb dish...Pesto. I don't care how pastorial it is, I love it...on just about everything.
Here's the bounty, plus fixins...minus the 'secret ingredient' which changes with my mood. Basil, garlic, extra virgin organic olive oil, pine nuts (though I will substitute walnuts, almonds or pecans) sea salt, black pepper (not pictured) and secret ingredient...also not pictured.
This is "Brownie" the butterfly. I think she may be a Fritillary, but I still don't have a confirmation. I have 3 Passion Vines, which are it's host plant right where she decided to join me for a spell...and she's desert brown...that's about where my knowledge fails. Anyway, I was busy cutting back the basil when she decided to land on my arm. I was amazed and excited for awhile, I hollered at hubby inside to look and still...she stayed. Then, I decided that I needed to get back to work harvesting, so I did...and to my surprise, she just hung on. I gathered my bucket of herbs, went inside and still...she stayed. Hubby got the camera and we went outside for a photo-shoot. I slipped my finger under her feet and she hopped on. I started shooting and turning my hand around and she just walked a bit, tasting the dirt and salt on my finger giving me a good tickle. After about 7-8 minutes she'd had enough, and off she flew. It was magic. I believe that the garden faerie in me has returned. Once the pressure from the tour lifted, the magic was back! Whew.
Secret ingredient hidden by large Pomegranate Mimosa.
One of two rescued caterpillars dining on Sweet Basil, heaven knows how many ended up in my Pesto as...secret ingredient.
Several hours later...3 mimosa's down...good grief this takes a lot of time. But, this is the 3rd harvest this year!
9 plants, 9 jars. 3 harvests x 9. Not bad, not bad.