A Cool Basil Trick from Foodie Friday

tina marie garden tricks

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(Yes I know it’s Thursday. I’m taking a day away from home with my sweetie while the tropical storm passes over. This is just what I wanted to share today.)

I mentioned in that giant post I’m guessing virtually no one read all the way through yesterday that part of the blogging conference was a Foodie Friday event. We learned about how to take better pictures in general and of food in particular, got some great ideas for styling food (which I will be stealing for styling knitting and other craft projects, too) and learned some things to look for at the flea market that we can use to make our photos more interesting.

To break from the conference room for a minute, we had a bit of an ice cream social (mmm, strawberry Yarnell’s with Oreos on top!) and headed outside to listen to Tina Marie Wilcox, who cares for the gardens at the Folk Center, writes about herbs (I just bought her book and will give you a review when I can) and is an all-around passionate, spirited and vivacious lady. We should have kept up her “if you can hear me say yeah!” all weekend.

tina marie garden tricks
Tina Marie in her garden; showing off salad burnet; teaching her basil trick; and sharing the benefits of purslane.

Anyway, she showed us a bunch of different herbs growing in the garden, including two kinds of thyme, rosemary, parsley, savory and salad burnet, which I had never heard of before, but it’s a green leafy herb that takes a little like cucumber. She showed off her lemongrass and jumped up and down while sharing the benefits of purslane (it’s high in Omega-3s and literally grows like a weed, because it is one).

Back inside she talked a little more about herb gardening and shared an easy trick to get bushier basil plants that don’t go to seed. She explained that the plants have nodes, which are where the new branches come from. She says if you cut your basil at two nodes up from the bottom of the plant, under the new branches, every two weeks not only will you have lots of great trimmings to eat, your basil will get bushier and will not go to seed.

I’m definitely trying that next year.

I also love her rationale for using herbs in cooking:

essential oils are magic. They smack you in the brain and make you want more.

Works for me.

Do you have any herb gardening tricks? How do you use herbs in recipes?

Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing!

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  1. Take some of your cuttings, strip the bottom leaves, put the cuttings in a small container of water and cover with a clear Ziploc 🙂 bag. Leave them in a somewhat sunny location for a week or so. You will have new basil plants:) I keep my basil growing all year this way. Plus, you end up with those beautiful bushy plants. Good luck.

  2. I’m really enjoying your posts about the conference!

    My only herb tip is that it’s easy to keep them relatively fresh by spreading them out on a cookie sheet and freezing. The freeze quickly, and are loose in the freezer bags so you don’t have to worry about freezing in portions. This also works well for leafy veggies if you end up with a ridiculous amount of baby spinach or something.

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