One Last Warm Breeze
Editors Note: My neighbor Kashou Bennett who blogs at The Straight Torquer has been bragging about his garden for months. As we wrap up our outdoor activities, Kash gives us one more remembrance of warmer days.
The leaves are turning, the wind is getting chillier, and I have finally retired my garden.
I had harvested most of the vegetables a few weeks ago, but my basil plants this year just kept on kicking. It was a small garden, not difficult to keep weeded and tended to, just a tidy patch of tilled earth in the front yard of my house in Columbia Heights, Washington DC.
The reason I kept those last hardy basil plants around as long as I could was that the little group of plants represents more to me than just a place from which I can get a bit of food. My garden was a public statement — and when I say public, I mean front yard public — of organic living and self-sufficiency that I was inspired to undertake by Michelle Obama’s organic garden in the backyard of the White House.
Sure, I could have avoided some sidewalk casualties had I protected my pepper plants in pots on the back porch. Several times I rescued the fragile flora from incoming threats of various nature. From inebriated friends staggering through the yard and just not realizing what they were standing in (hey man, watch out!), to the daily assaults coming from the games of the kids who live on my block.
I developed a second sense for incoming soccer balls that would stray from their sidewalk matches. Once I literally made a diving save onto my side in the dirt! The kids were surprised, and my friends all laughed at my muddy pants, but it was worth it.
I just had to keep those little plants alive.
A Late Season Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor and whip until well chopped (do about 3/4 cup at a time). Add about 1/3 of the nuts and garlic, blend again. Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container. Process basil pesto until it forms a thick smooth paste. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well.
[via Diana’s Kitchen]