Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Country Lore: Basil and Bay Leaves

The snow is dissipating slowly but surely. The general consensus is: ENOUGH ALREADY, balance in all things .. moderation is good! Just because there is a snow shovel in my little shed doesn't mean it needs to be used more than once a year. I did that, and am ready to put it away.

Miss InjaPig is ready for some fresh salad greens and home grown carrots. She will eat the store-bought variety, but she really loved those skinny little carrots that I grew last year (think Twiggy). Every time I opened the patio door her squeaker went into high gear. She equated that
door-opening-sound with CARROTS!

Soon it will be time to prepare my containers for Miss InjaPig's carrots. Several large empty kitty litter buckets will be garden containers for tomatoes, carrots, chives, opal and regular basil, scallions and probably some marigolds, Gerber daisies and geraniums. Last year was my first attempt at container gardening beyond a few small decorative pots of flowers. The tomatoes were hybrids for patio growing. Not only were they small, but too few. We're going for the larger varieties this year.

Last year, the carrots went into a large green, plastic "tub" - the kind used for storage. The tomato vine went into a 5 gallon painter's bucket. It was UGLY orange, but a can of forest green "paint-on-plastic" spray paint made it easier on the eyes. All that was left was to drill drain holes in the bottom of both containers.

More Country Girl Lore ..

FRESH BASIL seems to chase away fruit flies in the kitchen; actually in all areas of your home (the daughter of a friend has hermit crabs. The crab house was inundated with fruit flies. When she tried the fresh basil, the pesky critters took a hike). Those nasty little critters will drive an angel to drink so keep it on hand for this as well as for savory cooking.

Dried BAY LEAVES keep weevils out of your cereal, corn meal and grain products. Place two or three dry bay leaves in the containers that you store all of these food products. It is better to repackage these dry ingredients into sealed containers if at all possible. Also, sprinkle a few loose bay leaves on the shelves where your dry food stuffs are kept. © Cat Brennan

1 comment:

  1. The basil is a miracle! And, now that you mention it, my mother used bay leaves in her dry product jars. I had forgotten all about it. Thank you!