I’m not sure where everyone who posts is located, but here in Illinois we have experienced a very unusual summer. June was the wettest on record, most farmers couldn’t get out into the fields after June first. July the rains stopped, almost completely. The Rosemary I planted in May didn’t start growing till July. It’s like they sat there waiting till the weather got better. Calendula seeds I planted, drowned and never germinated. Black eyed Susan plants planted last year came back, but the purple coneflowers never appeared. A phlox plant I didn’t plant appeared in the garden down by the street. A very unusual year to say the least.
Rosemary plants became bushes and are doing very well after their slow start. My three year old Melissa Lavender plants had their first really good year of providing me lovely tall lavender spikes. Enough to fill a sachet for a friend, and one for me. All three mint plants, peppermint, apple mint, kitchen citrus mint were huge and some how didn’t go to flowering till much later than usual, which gave me time to make mint jelly, as well as harvest some mint for making dye for yarn. Sage plants on the other hand didn’t do very well. I will probably have to replant sage next year. Lemon verbena seemed to hold it’s ground and not grow in size during June as well. By the time I harvest it September it should be enough to make a nice rich tincture for making soap. The pot planted the lemongrass in and ”planted” the pot in the ground I will bring into the house later to try and keep it growing during the winter.
If you have an abundance of basil as I do with the 14 plants I planted here are a couple of recipes to use the herb.
Easy Tomato Basil Soup
2 cans Campbell’s Tomato Soup
One can filled with skim milk, one can filled with water
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 medium fresh tomato, chopped
20-30 basil leaves, more or less to your taste.
Mix and heat all ingredients in a 1 1/2 quart pan till hot, but not boiling, stirring constantly. Serve with garlic cheddar croutons.
Tomato Basil Pot Roast
3-4 lb. Beef Chuck Roast
1 qt. home canned tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes rough chopped
1 onion sliced in thick slices, cut in half
20-30 basil leaves
Place everything in a slow cooker. Medium setting for 8 hours.
In the last hour add two sliced yellow summer squash or zucchini squash.
Serve in bowls with lots of broth with garlic bread