Wednesday, June 25, 2008

another crop coming!

here they are...both plants are looking very healthy, they've been picked over a number of times and now they've fully sprouted back, full and fresh.

Friday, June 20, 2008

freshening her up

i tipped out the old nutrient today, its certainly not wasted as you'll see...the flowers in our window box love me for it.
as i've mentioned before, it's important every now and then to completely put a fresh batch of nutrient solution in the power plant. after all, over time, even with top ups the pH value will change and the nutrient concentration gets out of balance as the roots grow and shed old matter.

on another note
the power plant basil got plucked again yesterday, as we put basil all over a salad...very tasty, i'm really getting to like the liquorice taste of the siam thai basil.
and all this plucking is encouraging the growth of newer fresh leaves, shes really starting to grow nicely now, not too leggy, nice and bushy, i'll have to try and let her grow a bit more to show you what i mean

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the power plants new look

so the basil has started to get some real attention from my family, i'm looking like a real gardening guru...'oh, and here's my latest crop of basil...all green and leafy!''s very funny, i can now discuss the merits of sweet basil to that of thai basil.

this morning my daughter asked if she could put a sticker on the power plant..of course you can...and bam- not 5 minutes later the product is now covered in stickers!!!...i guess she feels some ownership too..

Friday, June 13, 2008

full of flavors...but not mixed!

since the basil was trimmed there's been a lot of newer bushier growth.
the leaves are growing in tighter groups, i'll likely use some again this weekend, it'll be the 3rd crop.

in this crop you'll see i planted siam basil in one half (the pointy leaves) and italian sweet basil in the other.
however, now i wish i'd just done one varietal.
both are delicious, but they are so different in flavor.

the siam is truly the same fragrance and flavor as that found in thai food. it has an especially strong liquorice taste and reminded me very much of my favorite pad thai dish..yum yum

the sweet basil is great for pizza and pesto, much less pungent!

talking of which;
i thought i'd share my latest pesto mix
the 'power plant pesto' great for spreading on sandwiches-panini anyone?, especially with tomatoes and mozzarella

heres my recipe for a small qty;
take 1-2 cup of leaves- tightly packed
2 tablespoons of roasted marcona almonds (i've been heating some marcona nuts my wife bought at costco ...salted....add them into a pan with a dash of olive oil and stir regularly until they'll probably need to do twice as many, cos when you taste them -they are out of this world!)
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan
1 small garlic clove-peeled
half tablespoon lemon juice-or lime juice
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil

combine ingredients of; basil, nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water, season with salt and pepper in a small blender...i use a stick blender. Puree until you make a paste (you could use a mortar and pestle with such a small qty of pesto...the old way!)
add in portions of the olive oil, just enough until the paste becomes a smooth buttery texture...good for spreading.

Monday, June 9, 2008

delicious basil

here we are plucking the early first leaves, it's also part of the pinching process.
my daughter is pretty handy with the scissors!...she'd have chopped the whole crop down had i not intervened.

Friday, June 6, 2008

a small floaty ball

just thought i'd write about something i noticed with my power plant...and i must say it's specific to the one i'm using...when i filled her up with nutrient, i noticed the floaty ball used for the gauge wasn't i tapped the power plant with a spoon i had nearby...and voila the ball floated up!...i think the ball is so light that there must have been a little 'stiction' when i emptied the container, before i transported her home yesterday.

on that note, i also noticed this morning that she sounded a little noisier than her normal waterfall serenity again, with the spoon, i tapped the side and voila... again she's running whisper quietly again.

also to note- again no timer is used on my power plant.

taking the trip home

after a couple of weeks spent in my office i packed up the power plant in a box (emptied the nutrient out) and put it in my back pack.
my commute lasted for over 2 hours!...luckily for the basil there was still moisture in the sponge and so once i brought her home and refilled she looked healthy and unfussed.

i found the seed packets, at last.
the pointy leaved basil is Thai Siam says its 'delicious sweet and spicy flavor. very aromatic leaves: licorice basil aroma'
the other half of the power plant is set with Basil -Large leaved Italian

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

making a bushier basil plant

in order to create a bushier basil plant, you'll need to pinch them back...seems drastic when they look so healthy, but in the long run you'll see a much happier fuller plant.
chances are that the basil will stretch too tall if this isn't done early on.

here are the pictures of the top leaves being nipped.
i'd advise having clean nails or snips for this as plants can also be affected by germs from dirty fingers and tools (especially young plants)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

leaf shapes

the basil leaves are taking shape, when i find the seed pkts i'll describe the exact types.
but you can see the pointy leaves of one varietal.

we've been enjoying hot, sunny weather, the thing to remember is to allow good circulation of air around the plant, not too difficult with the doors and windows open!
however, keep a look out for bugs and mites that will be looking to spoil your crop.

also, the plants like heat and humidity, just not dry, hotness, so you might want to spritz the leaves to help keep them moist especially if the power plant lives on a super hot window sill.