This abnormally chilly weekend has inadvertently reminded me that with summer's end also comes the end to my garden's growing season.
I know we probably still have a good month left before our rows of vegetables start to die off and the pots of herbs can no longer withstand the elements, but this morning's temperature reading on the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower, a surprising 58 degrees, was enough to get me thinking about how to handle my end-of-season harvest.
Some herbs, like sage, rosemary and oregano can actually survive the winter inside ... if my cats' curiosity doesn't get the better of them. Others, like thyme and cilantro, are perennial and will likely wilt when they are ready to hibernate and resurface vibrant as ever next May (or June, as has been the pattern the past couple of years).
And then there's my favorite herb, the mighty and versatile basil. I have seven hearty plants going and can find culinary excuses to pluck from each of them on a regular basis. That's the beauty part of this plant; the more you pick at it, the more it grows.
But, there's only so much I can do with the yield before it can't stand the shorter days and cooler nights. I've tried keeping basil alive indoors until the following summer, but again, my pets are way too fascinated with its fresh aroma and taste to leave it alone. I can't say I blame them.
So, this year I'm going to attempt freezing my fresh basil for the first time. I've Googled around looking for various techniques and I think I've settled on this one.
It seems simple enough. But does anyone have another way of doing it, or other scathingly brilliant ideas for making our precious basil last us until the weather warms again?