OH HOW SWEET IT IS~~~JACKIE GLEASON
Our growing season this year has been a wet one. July in Upstate New York has had rain for 25 of the 31 days of July. I know this because I counted them but if you want to know this with some conformation check this :
It's been a tough year for the farmers that grow hay for their horses and cows. Those bales of cut hay provide so much food for the farmer's livestock, it's a must have. Most years the farmers here have no problem getting two cuttings out of their fields. This year proved to be very different.
Hay needs to be dry to cut. You cannot bale hay that is wet, if you do, expect a fire in the barn.
Damp hay will combust as it dries, setting the entire crop as well as the barn, ablaze.
Now I know it may be confusing, but give me a break will ya? I know I started out talking about basil, then quickly veered off in another direction, like the barn, but there is a logical explanation, I promise. Just hang tight.
For the first time since summer began, Beckwith road saw a striking forecast of a stretch of dry weather for 5 days. Time to cut, rake, fluff and bale the hay.
On Beckwith Road, when someone needs a hand, there are very few words spoken. It's never a big deal to spend some time on your neighbor's homestead giving them a boost. In fact, we were all praying for the fields.
And so it goes.
All the men folk are gone today to bring the bales of hay into the barn. Oh yes, we had our dry spell and my cousin Lauren was running the tractor as all the guys pulled the bales into the wagon. The stacking of the bales in the barn would take some grit. But I was sure they were up to the task.
Oh, so what did I do?
I was on Beckwith Road, 'bout a half a mile from the balers, at home making pesto.
I had so much basil that I did what I always do, preserve it in some way to use down the road.
I went with making pesto.
Keeping it simple is the best way to go. I use garlic, gotta have garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
A small food processer will do the trick. Add a handful of basil, a palmful of pine nuts , drizzle of olive oil and parm cheese to your liking, I liking a generous amount.😁
Presto change-o, pesto.
I used ice trays to freeze the pesto, I find this method very convenient. Once the tray has frozen solid, I vacuum pack the basil cubes. Perfect to pluck out when needed for sauce, soups or sandwiches. I find pesto goes perfectly on panni sandwiches. So yummy!
Now let's see how good or bad basil is for you . We already know it has a wonderful flavor and an awesome aroma, but can it help our bodies to heal or rejuvenate?
"The main use of basil medicinally is as a natural anti-inflammatory. It is similar to the compounds found in oregano and medical marijuana – and may be used as a substitute for the later because it offers the same relief without the “high.” The same compound that makes it useful as an anti-inflammatory is also believed to help combat bowel inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis."
"Many naturopathic doctors prescribe basil in treatment of diabetes, respiratory disorders, allergies, impotence, and infertility. This may be because basil contains cinnamanic acid, which has been found to enhance circulation, stabilize blood sugar, and improve breathing in those with respiratory disorders."
"It is also know that basil is very high in antioxidants, especially when it is used as an extract or oil. These antioxidants can protect your body against free radical damage associated with aging, some skin ailments, and most forms of cancer. Antioxidants have become an important part of keeping our bodies healthy, and basil may be among the safest and most effective sources of these life-giving compounds."
Soon after I finish up with this first cutting of basil, I intend to move onto oregano. This lovely plant is also so aromatic when leaves are plucked right from the plant. It's part of my morning routine, I kid you not. First thing I do as I step onto my deck, is pinch some sweet basil and sniff. It puts a bounce in my step as I take my morning stroll.
Upon returning from my walkabout, I grab a few oregano leaves and inhale all that goodness.
I am debating on how I want to preserve the oregano this year. I used a dehydrator last year, which worked great, but I was a little disappointed with the fragrance, or lack there of. So I am on a mission to get the info I need to try another method of preserving it long term.
If anyone in community has a new idea for me, please give me a shout.
The last thing I want to share with y'all, are some pictures of my flowers. I know I enjoy #gardeners that display their colorful flower gardens. I hope you like mine!
@dswigle always includes flowers in her posts, much to my delight. The flowers I grow in my gardens never fail to #makemesmile. The #alwaysaflower community does an unbelievable job in displaying #nature's beauty.
So colorful and pleasing to the eye, not to mention the fragrance that fills the air.
As I come to a close I want to recognize the #naturalmedicine community. What a wonderful and knowledgeable group of folks. There's nothing better than knowing how to use nature's gifts to heal our bodies and minds.
Thanks for sharing.
Love and peace to all.