Saturday, September 11, 2010

basil

Earlier in the year, when I purchased trays of seedlings from a local non-profit, I had ordered one tray of basil.  I don't remember this, but apparently it's true because I have a whole row of basil.  Unfortunately the CSA has plenty of basil so can't purchase it from me.  But I go through a lot of basil at home in spaghetti and pizza sauce, which we make at least every week, so keeping it is not a problem.  I went to the farm today to cut and collect my basil so I can hang it to dry and put it in jars.  There is so much of it.  It's wonderful.  I foresee personal, homemade Christmas presents.  I hope it is the right variety for the flavor I'm looking for (that classic flavor you buy at the store). There was so much of it I filled a wheel barrel to overflowing and there's still a third of the crop left!  The SUV smells so good.

While I was at the farm I gleaned the other ripe crops and decided to grab some carrots, too, for the week.  Problem was... and this is the most stereotypical, city-slicker, hilarious-yet-humiliating mistake... I had just gotten a manicure.  Yes.  A manicure.  And pulling the carrots made me chip the paint on one of my nails.  ha ha.  So that endeavor came to an end.

I brought my dog with me.  OK, OK, it's not really my dog.  It's my neighbor's dog but I pretend she's mine.  I bring her to the farm as often as I can.  She just loves to romp around the fields.  It's like doggie heaven.  Plus she's nice protection.  Not that I'm really afraid.  OK, who am I kidding.  I'm never afraid.  When the acclaimed  Zogby poll called and asked me, amongst their survey questions, if I felt "safe in my neighborhood"  I replied "yes".  Even though there are drug dealers outside my back window.  ha ha.  I digress... One time another farmer was working in his field next to me.  We worked peacefully next to each other for hours and then out of the blue my dog starts barking at him.  I try calling her back and walk toward her to, hopefully, grab her collar, but she keeps moving forward until we were a few feet from that poor other farmer.  I started backing up and that did the trick.  The dog was trying to stay between us.  I locked her in the car and apologized to that poor other farmer but he was totally cool about it.  He said, when the sun went down it probably made the dog more wary, or maybe her vision wasn't great in the dim light.  Anyway, I learned my lesson.  I wouldn't let her roam free near other people again, though the situation hasn't arisen.

At home I grouped the basil into small bunches with rubber bands and then hung them upside down to dry.  The hanging required some real ingenuity.  I used a 60ft extension cord, because it was strong and I didn't have any twine.  Then I clipped the stems to the extension cord with tie-wraps.  There is quite a bit of basil there.  It's in the garage and when we open the garage door I almost wonder if the neighbors think we are harvesting marijuana or something because it looks like a mass production of herbs.

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