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Good Eats: Basil & Garden Update

Follow my adventures in finding out about my local CSA produce and growing my own produce in the Good Eats series.
This week my CSA consisted of Good Natured Family Farms cheddar cheese and sirloin steak (both went to the freezer), cabbage (made Asian Cole Slaw) and Blueberry Jam (which was divine) from Twin County Family Farms, sourdough bread from Farm To Market, and fresh living basil from Cal-Ann Farms.
I told you about my adventure to Twin County Family Farms last week. But, I was also fortunate enough to go to Cal-Ann Farms in Basehor, KS and hang out with Jeff and Ann Meyer. (Who were super gracious and take growing basil very seriously.) DD and I were able to watch as they started the process of producing their basil direct from seed.

Yep, someone plants all of their basil seeds by hand – there isn’t a machine to be found. Then those seeds are allowed to germinate for a couple of days, then moved (again by hand) to a high intensity light area where their root system will grow for another week, then moved (again by hand) into the greenhouse where they will continue to grow until they are ready to be placed in store (and then delivered by hand 24 hours after they leave the greenhouse).

Here is a look at one of their greenhouses. Look how beautiful and uniform all those little basil are – it is a testimony to the care and love that Jeff, Ann, and their crew give their product. The whole process – from seed to in-store – takes around four weeks. Since it is a controlled environment, they are able to grow fresh, natural basil that does not contain any pesticides.

One additional tidbit – since the basil is living, with the right care it can last up to three week on your counter top. Isn’t it cool to think you can have fresh basil for that long? Fresh basil is SO much better than dried.

Garden Update

We have been blessed with lots of rain this Spring. And you can tell – because whenever the sun comes out, my little tomato plants seem to grow a twelve inches. Because of the growth, we started staking tomatoes this week. The pepper plants and marigolds are also doing well. However, I’m ready to get a little bit of color on the plants – I’m sure our neighbors are thinking we have a weed patch. Good thing I saw this on my plant today…