About 2 weeks ago, we had a sudden cold surge here in the Phoenix valley where it got down to 34°F. The organic basil bushes we grow here don't do so well below 36°F - getting black spots on the leaves, so Dr Desert Flower harvested a large quantity the night of the approaching near-frost, in the dark.
We let the basil dry for a week in the relatively high humidity (about 40% RH) that accompanied the Pacific cold front, and when the leaves appeared to have no more moisture in them, I de-leafed them last weekend, pulling leaves from stems carefully, and then Crushing the leaves for compact storage. Basil is delicious - not a ship of the desert, or a chanting of "boosabah, boosabah..." by adolescent males in NW Indiana... but the spice =)
Our friend Tim counseled us that to enhance basil leaf growing productivity, the flowered ends of each stem should be cut off to encourage the plants to leaf out more - a good 5 minute task for the fastidious gardener.
1 year ago