SG573: Basilmania!

Basil is my all-time favorite edible to grow in the garden. In fact, my first purpose for digging in the dirt every Spring is to plant my basil crop - and despite getting a late start after rotator cuff surgery, this year was no exception.

Like me, many gardeners associate the smell of basil with summer.  Whenever I’m smell basil - that earthy, rich, fragrance with hints of mint and clove - I’m reminded of all the times I’ve sent my children out to harvest basil outside on the deck, where our kitchen garden is located. In fact, I’m thrilled that our basic pesto recipe is something all the kids can make by heart. In this house, I’ve cultivated not only a number of basil varieties, but also basil fans!

So what makes basil such a hot commodity in the garden? As the classic herb of summer, basil is a very well-rounded winner - from being a wonderful companion plant, cut-flower, easy propagator, bountiful producer, successful herb for preserving, a distinct aromatic addition to perfumes, a natural pest repellent, and absolutely amazing in the kitchen when used with an infinite constellation of recipes.

Today’s deep dive into basil is my way of playing match-maker between you and the King of Herbs. If you’ve never grown basil or cooked with basil, I want to make the introduction for you and if you’re already head over heels with basil (like I am), I want to give you even more reasons to keep your passion for basil alive.

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“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.


Interview Questions

Garden news roundup.

Time Stamp 12:05

It’s time for basil mania!

Time Stamp 33:45

History of basil.

Time Stamp 38:35

Variety of basil.

Time Stamp: 42:10

How to grow and cultivate basil.

Time Stamp: 57:50

Best practices on how to harvest basil leaves.

Time Stamp 1:18:35

Known health benefits of basil.

Time Stamp 1:25:40

And finally, best ways to eat basil!

Time Stamp 1:26:55




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The Garden News Roundup for June 9, 2017:

Container Gardening: Sarah Raven’s 7 Tips for Perfect Flower Pots - Gardenista

Giant agave plant bursts through the roof of grade II listed greenhouse (SG555)

What Happens When a Plant Bolts? - Creative Vegetable Gardener Megan Cain (SG557)

How To Cook Vegetables Like A Top Chef  Deborah Madison (SG533)

GMPER100L PLANT!T Super Coarse Perlite, 100 L/3.53 cu ft: Patio, Lawn & Garden

No Splash Quick Connect Set | Gardener's Supply

Great Gardens of America: Tim Richardson, Andrea Jones: 9780711228863: Books

22 Basil Recipes to Use Up Your Summer Bounty

Braided Pesto Bread | Baked by Rachel

My Best Basil Pesto Sandwich Ever - Bonnie Plants

FREE THIS WEEK: Israeli Hummus Warm, whipped,... - Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

Cops find $500 million opium poppy field in North Carolina

Beautiful new see-through frog puts whole heart on display

Ode to Basil - Unbored Housewife

Macro Field Studio - Outdoor Photographer

Beet and Ricotta Hummus | Bon Appetit

Nearly $1 Million in Stolen Bees Recovered in Fresno | The California Report | KQED News

Scientists planting 400 acres of Minnesota pines to survive climate change -

So THAT'S What Curry Is: The Difference Between The Spice, The Leaves And the Dish | HuffPost

Six Seasons: Required Reading for Gardeners in the Kitchen - Gardenista

10 Garden Ideas to Steal from Spain - Gardenista

How to Start Thinking Like a Permaculturist for a Thriving Garden Year-Long | One Green Planet

Solomons Seal: Catskills Wildflower and Garden Flower Versions - From Root To Shoot

Two Scientists, Two Different Approaches To Saving Bees From Poison Dust : The Salt : NPR

A Most Canadian Disaster - Neatorama

Gardening 101: Cannas - Gardenista

Chelsea Flower Show Favorite: Mr. Ishihara's Minimal Water Hut - Gardenista

Buckthorn-eating goats to debut in Minneapolis parks Tuesday -

Fermenting: a simple guide - Jamie Oliver | Features

Ask the Expert: 9 Tips to Grow Edible Microgreens - Gardenista

An Easy Blue Flower for Beginners

This week on Natureworks Live, Nancy gives us... - Natureworks Organic Garden Center

8 Tips for Growing Dwarf Conifers in Containers

Could disease 'tolerance' genes give new life to UK ash trees?

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What listeners are saying...

I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are. I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast - usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.

- Barbcfc, Mar 23, 2016

Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host's children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge - the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I'm always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that's helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.

- cwaigl, May 29, 2014

Best gardening podcast out there. Her preparedness leads to a good interaction with the guests and brings out the best in them. Very informative and yet personable.

- Corn bug, June 15, 2016

This is a great podcast. Really well produced and organized with good sound quality. I love the mix of information and personal touches. Jennifer has great guests and asks the best questions. You can tell she really does her homework. I listen to several gardening podcasts and this is my absolute favorite!

- So Cal Gardengirl, June 19,2016

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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  1. SG580: The Echinacea Evolution! - 6ftmama on August 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    […] Perhaps best of all, they are a power pollinator plant. I’ve said it before (most recently in my Basilmania Episode where I sing the praises of basil): At some point in your development as a gardener, you want to […]

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