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How to Store Basil from Garden

Gardens - How can you store basil from your garden without damaging or losing it? This question probably seems like a rather extreme example of all the problems with getting basil fresh out of your garden– but it's not. If we remove the stems and wash the leaves under running water, we can store this herbsty treasure in a refrigerator for up to one week. The same technique can be used to take care of any other fresh herbs you have on your patio or in your outdoor green space. 

Basil is one of the most widely used spices in both Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and I think it's safe to say that most people who come from Italy or who have spent some time there would have some notion of how to store it properly.

Freezing for Longer Storage

Basil freezes very well. It will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator, even if you take it out. The freezing process causes the var ways that basil grows on the plant to change. In general, if you are going to store basil for more than two weeks, you should take it out before it starts to grow leaves and flower. Typically, these two stages occur about two weeks apart. 

If you want more than two weeks, stored in the refrigerator between nights of use or during other light portions of the week will ensure that the entire stem and leaves are harvested from the plant.

The Next-Best Method

How do you store basil from the garden? This is a common question asked by new basil growers. It's also a difficult one to answer, because storage conditions differ from place to place. Store basil in a dry area, away from nitrous oxide (the gassy gas that's created when too much moisture is present), and out of direct sunlight. 

Ideally, the soil should be rich in humus ( organic matter that supports plant growth and prevents weeds ) and well-draining. You can also place some in a blend of peat moss and perlite (a type of sand that's rich in minerals, but less dense than finer materials such as sand or gypsum)

The Very Best Method

Storing basil in a glass jar with a tight lid keeps the leaves from raining on your head and gives you plenty of time to grab a handful before they start to wilt. I like using large mason jars for most of my storage needs because they fit perfectly into my pantry and allow me to stack multiple basil plants on top without creating a tangled mess. Basil is also great left in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator because it takes on a buttery flavor when served with food.

The other day I was thinking about how to best store basil, and it occurred to me that there are actually three different kinds of jars that you can use to store basil. The first kind contains a cork so that the head of basil cannot move around inside. The second kind has a lid that has small holes so steam can escape, and the third kind has small drainage holes.

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