back home: the garden

Whenever we get home from being away for a few days I never get past the garden on my way to the house.
This time was no different.
It was evening, the girls were tired but they too couldn't help but ooh and aahh at the garden with me. I watered some essentials, picked a couple of cucumbers and zucchinis and of course pulled a few weeds before making it inside.
I also happily picked some of the tops off the basil.
Picking the tops helps stop it going to seed and encourages leaf growth.

I'm so happy it is basil time again.
Pesto is what I mainly keep my basil for.
Pesto, without the parmesan cheese, in pasta, on a loaf of foccacia bread I am baking, on a sandwich or a pizza or, as the girls prefer it, straight off the spoon.
And I usually have a bit left over to pop in the ice cube tray and freeze - the ice cubes is just my way of creating a free-flow form of pesto.
By the end of Summer I have tons of little ice cubes of pesto in my freezer ready for quick winter meals.
I love that.

The morning after we arrived home, I got up and harvested the garlic. Apart from needing it for the pesto, the tops were seriously browning and I was keen to clear the bed.
I usually plant my garlic from May to early July, not often on the traditional Winter Solstice. I generally harvest early-mid January depending on how it looks and on our holiday plans.
This year I planted it into a no-dig garden of newspaper, horse manure, leaves, seaweed, garden weeds and straw. Friends had brought the main ingredients around as gifts for my compost. I hadn't got to making a compost but I needed somewhere to plant the garlic and so I just lay it down on the grass and left it for 6 weeks.

With little else other than a bit of wet and a bit of warm ( and the odd touch of worm juice) we have a years worth of good sized garlic hanging in the shed.
We'll put aside some of the larger cloves for seed in the winter.
The rest we will eat.

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