Gardens

When the Basil is Failing, Make Pesto!

When live gives you lemons, make lemonade, the saying goes. And using the same philosophy, when you’re basil looks sick and you know it’s all dying, pick it quickly and make pesto. That’s what I did yesterday.

Last week I realized that my basil plants were failing. Their leaves were turning yellow and then brown. When I looked at the underside of the foliage there were clear signs that these plants have downy mildew. Knowing that there is no cure for this problem once the plants are infected, I decided to harvest them right away so that any still healthy growth could at least be used for pesto that will then be frozen.

This is how the beginning of downy mildew looks on basil. See the yellowing leaves?

This is how the beginning of downy mildew looks on basil. See the yellowing leaves?

When you look underneath the yellowing leaves there is a combination of grayish and white growth; a very fine layer of moldy looking areas.

When you look underneath the yellowing leaves there is a combination of grayish and white growth; a very fine layer of moldy, dirty looking areas.

 

So I picked the entire row.

So I picked the entire row, knowing that since the top growth is still good I could freeze this as pesto an still get a good harvest of basil for the winter.

Next I pulled off all the decent looking leaves and washed them in a salad spinner.

Next I pulled off all the decent looking leaves and washed them in a salad spinner.

While I was roasting the garlic I picked the good leaves off of the basil stems.

While I was roasting the garlic I picked the good leaves off of the basil stems.

Put the basil leaves and some roasted garlic into a food processor with olive oil. I used one clove of garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil for every two cups of basil foliage. Add a coup of grated parmesan to make it blend well.

Put the basil leaves and some roasted garlic into a food processor with olive oil. I used one clove of garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil for every two cups of basil foliage. Add some grated Parmesan to make it blend well.

Once the pesto is well blended we can send people out to the beach. :-)

Once the pesto is well blended place spoon fulls on a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Top with another sheet of waxed paper and put this in the freezer. The next day take those lumps of frozen pesto and and put them in a zip-lock bag, returning them to the freezer. These can be used for pesto on pasta, on veggies or added to soups or tomato sauces all winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food

Garden Celebration Cheese Tarts

Enjoy!

When the garden is producing an abundance of vegetables, herbs and flowers, it’s time to make some festive and delicious tarts. We’ll start with a photo of the finished tart but know this: the flower petals are placed on the tarts after they are done and the oven is turned off – you leave them

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Gardens

Getting Rid of Poison Ivy

You're working in the garden, pulling weeds or deadheading, when suddenly the brain shouts "STOP! Poison Ivy!"

I know that you’re coming here looking for an easy, fast, organic and problem-free way to get rid of poison ivy. The truth is, there is no one magic method but only a combination of strategies depending on how much poison ivy you have and where it is. Bottom line? You can spray it with

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Lifestuff

Gardening as a Revolutionary Act

Think that gardens are just for a few pretty flowers and a couple of veggies? Think again. Your garden could change your life, and the lives of those around you.

This is a slightly condensed version of the sermon I gave on July 27, 2014 at the Unitarian Church of Barnstable.

Think that gardens are just for a few pretty flowers and a couple of veggies? Think again. Your garden could change your life, and the lives of those around you.

Revolutionary is defined

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Love This!

I Love Echinacea ‘Milkshake’

This photo shows the transformation that the flowers go through, from simple white daisy-like bloom to a fluffy cone with a skirt of crisp, white petals. The honeybee on this flower is typical - bees and butterflies love this plant!

Name:   Echinacea ‘Milkshake’

Type of Plant:  Perennial for full sun in zones 5-9

Why I love this:  This cone flower has proved to be very strong, reliable and long flowering in my garden. I love the round dome of fluffy small petals with a yellow center, surrounded by a skirt of crisp, white drooping petals.

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Gardens

Mid-Summer Container Refresher

Done! The Fuchsia 'Firecracker' that I chose adds an upright element and a dash of color that compliments and contrasts with the other flowers in this urn. Be sure to water your container really well after you put any new plants in place.

Have some of the annuals in your mixed pots or boxes stopped flowering? This isn’t unusual because some of the annuals that are so perfect for spring planting don’t bloom as well once the temperatures rise. This doesn’t mean that they’re bad plants…it just means that our mid-summer weekend project should be evaluating our container

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