I had harvested a ton of basil from my garden two days ago but only this morning found the time to turn it into pesto. Some of the leaves had wilted a bit, but overall, storing the basil wrapped in dry paper towels in a produce bag in the fridge worked very well. I just washed the leaves and dried them well and then processed them with olive oil and salt using my stick blender. As usual, I did not add garlic, cheese or nuts to my “pesto”. I find it more versatile this way. And it also keeps better in the freezer.
Today, I spent a few hours in the garden weeding (in particular mint and those pesky Jerusalem artichokes that have been taking over the fence area of my plot). I filled two lawn bags with mostly Jerusalem artichokes, yikes! I also planted four basil seedlings that I had rooted from cuttings a couple weeks before and sowed cilantro and two rows of beets (Chiogga and Golden). I had to take out the bush beans as they were completely destroyed by the resident rabbit and planted cilantro in their place. Oh well.
To clarify: The Green Zebra is my first ripe tomato of the year. The others are from a plot neighbor in the community garden whose plot I am watering while they are on vacation :).
Today I processed my garlic. It has been almost three weeks since the harvest, and it has been hot and very humid here in Boston. I had a total of 21 heads of softnecks (Transylvania) and used 16 of them to make the braid above, which is now proudly displayed in my pantry. The remaining 5 heads, which I am keeping as seed garlic, include the largest head I harvested plus four heads that had started to split. Those four were still large heads, and I hope they will store well until October/November when I can get the cloves in the ground. Softnecks store well, so they will be used after all of last year’s harvest and all of this year’s hardnecks have been used up.
I also had harvested 17 heads of hardneck garlic (Red Russian), of which I kept the two largest as seed garlic. I left a longer stem for the rest of them because I noticed that they were not fully cured. For now, I will store them in a single layer in my kitchen so they can continue to cure.
I scaled down my garlic-growing operation for this year, because starting September, I will be an empty-nester. 31 heads will be more than enough to get me through next year.
Not sure what to do with all those zucchini. I donated a few to the Jamaica Plain community fridge a couple of days ago. Might do the same with this batch. I clipped some basil stems in the hope they might re-root so I can plant them for a fall harvest. Fingers crossed.