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Basil, Bonsai

Basil, Bonsai

Regular price $2.95 USD
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This compact, mounding, Greek basil has a pungent flavor in a compact shape with the small leaves typical of Greek basil and is perfect for growing in a pot indoors or out. The plant grows to be 6"-12" tall and 6"-12" wide, making it a perfect size for a windowsill and can be grown indoors all year (however, it is an annual if you choose to grow it outdoors).
The Bonsai Basil was bred to be grown inside and harvested as needed for cooking. The smaller leaves make it perfect for snipping off and throwing into soups, sauces, and dressings without needing to be chopped. Basils will continue to grow after being harvested. Greek Basil is known for their smaller leaves and bold flavors and this one will not disappoint! Each packet contains 20 seeds

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Harvest, Storage and Using Your Basil

First thing in the morning, when the essential oils of the plants are most concentrated, harvest mature leaves. A dual purpose practice is to regularly pinch back the growing tips of your plants. These trimmings can be used in the kitchen and the pruning of the growing tips stimulates branching which will result in sturdy, bushier plants. Whatever your harvesting practice, do not reduce your plant's foliage by more than one-third and allow it to recover before harvesting from the same plant again. After harvesting and since basil is a leafy green plant, encourage growth by feeding a good, balanced fertilizer.

The essential oils (the components that provide the flavors and fragrance) are as noted previously, quite fragile. That is, they are easily lost. Harvesting at their peak in the morning is the first step but how you store it is also critical.

For long-term storage, basil leaves can be dried and used as seasoning. In fact, many recipes call for dried basil rather than fresh, as the flavor is more subtle and complimentary. However, the best way to store basil past the fresh use stage, while preserving full-flavor, is to do what Denise does. She takes the leaves and either chops them or runs them through the food processor. As quickly as possible, they are then placed into ice cube trays and frozen. Once solid, she removes them and either stores them in freezer bags or for longer term, in vacuum sealed bags. Then throughout the year we can thaw and enjoy "fresh" basil in dishes, drop a cube into sauce or soups, or make into pesto.

During the growing season, you can take your clippings, wrap the cut ends in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will last a week or two using this method but we generally either just go out and harvest what we need, fresh, or if it is a period where we have an abundance, process for long-term storage as described.