Harvesting in the rain is bone-chilling. However, today is probably the last chance to bring in the basil. Good chance, after today’s rain and tonight’s low 40 degree temperature, the basil will wilt by tomorrow morning. I’m sure you’ve all had the experience of washing basil and putting it in the refrigerator only to find that it’s wilted and turned brown. Basically that’s what the weather’s like right now. Picking basil in these conditions seems an annual event as we race to beat the weather.
I uproot the basil plants, cut off the roots and put the stocks in a large bucket of water. The bucket goes in the house because I want to dry off the leaves and keep them from wilting. I’ve found the basil will live in the bucket for 2-3 days, giving me plenty of time to wash it and prepare or preserve it.
Check earlier blog entries about how to preserve basil: it’s always a treat to enjoy the basil you grew in the dead of winter.