Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 33: The Harvest of Basil

Normally, you sow your seeds in April and harvest in August. But with my Aerogarden, after just a month, we're ready to start harvesting a bountiful crop!

Here's what the Aerogarden looked like today.


Now, I did a little faux pas...I've been so busy at work that I didn't realize that the red light for water and nutrients went off a few days ago! Luckily, there was enough in the resevoir to keep the plants going--and going--and going.
Something else that happened was that the plants grew so quickly and so tall that they started to grow against the light. All that really happens is that the top leaves close to the lame dry out quickly, so I just took the few leaves that were affected and threw them out. Then, I raised the lamp, and then followed the instructions in the manual to prune the plants.
Pruning is something that a lot of people find counterintuitive--they think that cutting the plant is taking away from the plant. But in reality--it helps the plant grow its biggest.
What I did was, I cut each of the basil plants by about 1/3. The leaves all had a very distinct smell. My favorite was the lemon basil, with a wonderful lemony aroma. The Napolatino basil had freakishly big leaves--almost the size of lettuce leaves! Here was the haul!


And so, true to my promise to myself, I proceeded to make pesto. To do this, I collected about three cups of basil leaves (of all different kinds), and mixed them with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, parmesian cheese, and a hint of romano cheese. This is what I ended up with.

I can honestly say that the pesto was phenomenal. All the different kinds of basil gave it a wonderful taste and aroma that I've never experienced before! I froze most of the basil for me to whip up as dinner and snacks for the future, but I then cooked up some pasta and tossed a teaspoon or two in.



And thus went the first very successful harvest for the Aerogarden.

1 comment:

Sophia Sparx said...

Mmmmmm. I love Pesto! For more great recipes, check out http://iheartpesto.blogspot.com