Grow Basil & Harvest the Seeds
Basil is an Awesome Plant
If you do not have Basil in your garden, you should go out and get some right now (OK if it is winter time, you might want to wait till spring). Basil is good for just about everything. It is good in all kinds of food from burgers to salads to pesto to chewing right off the plant. It is known to help upset stomachs, relieving mosquito and ant bites by rubbing it on the skin and just over all nutritious.
There are dozens of different types of basil and they all have a slightly different flavor. Grow several of them and see which ones you like the best.
Grow Your Own Basil
A Lot of people like to purchase their plants instead of starting them in a pot. I like to start my basil in pots before I put them out into the garden. It is easy to do this. All you do is fill several pots with garden or potting soil. sprinkle the seed over the top and lightly with your had agitate the top layer of dirt with your hand. Then water the pots everyday. I like to keep them in the window-sil, but you can leave them outside on your patio or deck.
Buy Basil Seed
Your local box hardware store will have seeds throughout the year. The spring is the best time to buy them. You will get the most options and the cheapest prices right as the growing season starts.
If you can't get basil seed from your local stores, look up seed suppliers online. There are several great suppliers out there to get as many seeds as you'd like. I have bought seed from eBay with reasonable success. Make sure you read the product reviews before you make any decisions.
Pinch your Basil
Spend some time pinching back your basil. With your fingers pinch and snap off several leaves of your basil plants. Snap the step right above a grouping of tiny leaves so the plant will grow back with 2 or three more branches. This will give you a bigger and bushier plant.
Use Your Basil
Now that you have plenty of Basil, you should use it. Find some recipes and pick some fresh basil and make something great to eat. I am always looking for some great recipes.
Harvest Your Basil Seeds
Let the flowers grow on your basil plants. They will bloom, bees and other insects will pollinate them and seeds will develop. After the flowers and stems dry out, pluck them with your fingers and put them into a bowl. I would let them sit for a couple of days to make sure they are good and dry.
In a separate white bowl (white so you can see the seed as best as possible) strip the dried out flowers off one stem. Take each of the flowers and rub them between your fingers till the flower falls apart releasing all the seeds. Pick up each seed and place them into a sealable container or ziplock baggie. Save them for next year's garden.
Basil is Versatile
Basil is an extremely versatile herb. You can use it in just about any recipe to bring flavor and visual interest. If you love Basil as mush as I do, take the time to search for recipes where you can use the fresh leaf. Make your own pesto. Add it to your favorite salads. Eat it strait off the plant from the garden.
How to Store Fresh Basil
If you pick a lot of basil to help your plants grow, you will want to store them in the fridge until you can use them, This guy has an ingenious way to keep your basil leaves as fresh as possible for the longest period of time. Watch this.
Basil as a Home Remedy
Some people use Basil as a Home Remedy. You take a few leaves, chop them up and boil them into water, just like you would tea. Some people chew on it, making sure the leaves break up in their mouth and all the oils are released and absorbed into the body.
This woman claims that basil is good to help treat colds and fever. It helps reduce anxiety and stress.