Sow: basil bouquets

1148371_10153119487290220_841367769_n

More basil bouquets: this time with a cute sticker and a handwritten note

Today I continued spreading a little garden joy: I brought a couple more unexpected basil bouquets to work.

If you have extra basil, I recommend it highly. First, most people like surprises of free stuff.  Second, you get to talk about your garden and maybe you’ll inspire someone to try growing something—or trade tips and hints. Third, basil grows back if you give it a good trim. I swear the stuff I cut down on Sunday is already growing back despite the crazy heat that we have this time of year.

Plus, we still have tons of basil which is absolutely fine with me.  I still plan to make some pesto and dehydrate even more.

Fransi over at Three Hundred Sixty-Five and I did a little brainstorming the other day and we’re both convinced that herb bouquets would make terrific little gifts when someone invites you over for dinner. If you invite me over for dinner, this time of year your bouquet would be made of rosemary, basil, sage, thyme, oregano, and chives. I killed my lavender some how, but it would have looked pretty in the bouquet.

I’d probably tie it up with garden twine then wrap the whole thing in brown paper so I could write something on the outside and close it with a Mortroski Midcentury sticker. And they’d change with the seasons of course. Fall would bring cilantro and dill. And I now realize that I could use some Italian parsley. That would look pretty in a herb bouquet.

Imagine receiving an Italian herb bouquet: Italian parsley, oregano, thyme, basil. It would smell amazing. And you could chop it all up and make some sauce. Don’t worry, I’d bring some wine too. Or maybe dessert. Or some fancy chocolate. Or some okra (it seems to be very well received down here).

From a practicality standpoint, these bouquets could be great for people with small households or single people. A little of this, a little of that and you’d have a lovely centerpiece that you could use in your recipes all week. Maybe you could even pick and choose what you’d like. I could see the yuppie-hippie grocery store making them, although they’d be exquisitely lovely, but tiny and $20 a pop. Wouldn’t surprise me at all when small packets of even non-organic fresh herbs are $2.50 each.

So, if you saw a herb bouquet at a farmers’ market, would you pick one up?

 

Advertisements

Sow: distributing wealth

IMG_3562

Big bunch of fresh basil becomes a tiny jar of dried basil.

20130805-214234.jpg

But I still had more basil so I loaded it back up again.

The great basil dehydration experiment has been a great success. And very enlightening. Never again will I wonder why such a small bottle of a spice or herb costs so much. You saw how much basil I picked on Sunday. It had to be taken off the stems, washed, spun dry, then dehydrated for about 2.5 hours. Basically 1/2 of that became what’s in the tiny bottle in the photo above. That bottle isn’t full so I’m continuing to dehydrate to fill that bottle and hopefully at least one other the same size.

I also brought one of my work pals a huge bouquet of basil:

basil bouquet: like flowers but edible

basil bouquet: like fancy flowers but edible

It caused quite a stir—before I knew it, I was dispensing gardening advice since another coworker has been having bad luck with her basil. And by the end of the day, the bouquet recipient’s boss was looking for some basil too. Luckily I have plenty more where that came from so I can bring them each a bag (though not probably as bountiful as the basil bouquet) tomorrow.

The malabar spinach is also growing like crazy so I brought a bag (repurposed from the yuppie hippie grocery store) for another coworker who is working hard to eat right and exercise.  Picking the bagful didn’t really make much of a dent in the vines:

IMG_3557

big bag full of spinach

IMG_3558

Malabar spinach vines are surpassing the trellis

IMG_3559

Malabar spinach and the fall tomatoes

There’s lots happening in the garden so I also brought a small bag of okra to the basil bouquet recipient. She’s a fan of okra (I checked since it’s such a polarizing vegetable) and was thrilled to get some. I hope she made something delicious with it:

paper bag of okra with some red jalapeños thrown in for fun

paper bag of okra with some red jalapeños thrown in just for fun

I’m really loving the okra, but it will be at it’s end fairly soon. So this morning I planted the fall bush beans:

Fall bush beans got planted today

Fall bush beans: chopstick is for making a hole for the two beans that need to get planted in each hole.

I also saw a familiar friend. I haven’t named him yet because I wasn’t sure he’d stick around (or not end up in George’s mouth). Got any suggestions for a name?

My toad pal. He hangs out near one of the raised beds.

Look carefully for my toad pal. He hangs out near one of the raised beds.

And I’m continuing to hit the reset button: Bruce and I went to the gym again tonight for more cardio and abs/planks. Gotta say that I’m feeling it. Well, at least I know that my muscles are remembering what to do.

Have a great night!