This entry is a little homage to Ithaca’s famous Moosewood restaurant and its celebrated cookbook, Enchanted Broccoli Forest. The garden is not filled with broccoli this year, but we definitely have basil. Consequently, we eat it more like a vegetable than an herb.
After thinning the basil for several years by tossing the 1- to 2-inch plants aside like weeds, I finally realized that you can replant the ones with decent roots as long as you a) have planned ahead and made room for them somewhere in the garden; and b) water them right away. Now I have military-like rows of basil: taller plants from the original seeds, plus smaller plants that were thinned from the original rows.
The basil plants are loving this summer’s consistently hot and humid weather. They are already big enough to start harvesting so I made and froze the first batch of pesto–about two quarts–Wednesday afternoon. It’s a sure sign that the hey-day of summer gardening is here.