How to Store Fresh Basil

Storing Basil_A Little YumminessYou’ve probably been there…. you’ve just used part of a bunch of beautiful, fragrant basil for a recipe but you haven’t gotten around to figuring out what to do with the rest. Good news…. I just learned this great trick for storing basil. This is so simple and it keeps the leaves fresh and vibrant for days and days. It really works! Continue reading

Yummy Garden: Our first harvest of the spring!

Clockwise top left: strawberries, blueberries ("Reka"), Sugar Snap Peas ("Oregon Sugar Pod"), Spearmint & Sage

I love spring!!! The sporadic hours we’ve put into our garden in Jan and Feb are paying off. Sugar snap peas are one of our very favorites. They love our mild, coastal climate (Sunset Zone 17) and all spring just a couple of plants will produce a nice handful of sweet, crisp pea pods every few days. My two year old’s second favorite garden activity is to hunt for pods in the tangle of foliage and to load up his dump truck with our harvest. He’ll even eat one now and again.

Strawberries and blueberries are coming around. Checking the plants and picking them clean of their fruit is, of course, his #1 favorite garden activity. Our yield isn’t impressive, but the couple dozen we get are such a treat. Leafy greens and herbs do well most of the year — and with the cool, moist air and a bit of sun, they’re super low maintenance (save our ongoing battle with slugs). We’ve been cutting from the same rainbow chard for about a year now! Artichokes and fennel are perfect for San Francisco gardens too and striking to look at… and our dwarf lemons and limes are bearing more fruit than last year which we are definitely excited about.

The space devoted to edible gardening in our yard at the moment comprises just two 6′ x 4′ beds and some scattered pots. I’m continually amazed that that small space can keep us supplied with salads and least a couple of vegetable side dishes most weeks. As our skills improve, I can’t wait to see what we can coax out of our garden. Of course, this is not to say that my picky toddler is eating many vegetables these days, but the fact that he enjoys playing with them is something I guess.

A shout out to some gardening resources we’ve been checking out lately:

GrowCookEat (Visit goodLife {eats} on Fridays during spring/summer for a collection of tips and posts from other bloggers writing about gardening); The Urban Farmer Store (the place to go for drip irrigation and more); Sloat Garden Center (our local “go-to” garden center); CUESA (seasonal eating); Annie’s Annuals (check out their “totally useful plant lists”)