There are a lot of reasons to love our patio; abundant sunshine, fresh air, great food, and how about the towers of fresh basil?
Every summer, we take advantage of the warm weather to grow as much of this staple of Italian cuisine as we can. A few years ago, we found the perfect way to cultivate our crop; The Tower Garden. This wonder of hydroponics allows us to plant many plants in a relatively small space. You can grow almost anything in it, but we grow nothing but basil. Why? Because we use this fragrant herb in so many our authentic Italian dishes, as well as using basil oil to garnish our plates.
Sweet basil, or Ocimum basilicum, comes from the Greek word “basileus”, which means king. Although most people equate basil with Italy, it originated in India, and was brought to Italy via the spice route during ancient times. It quickly became an integral seasoning in Italian cuisine. So much so that for many Italians, basil became a symbol of love. Word has it that is an Italian woman placed a sprig of basil on her balcony, her beau knew that he could call that evening.
Sweet Basil and its close relative, basilico genovese, are the only varieties used in Italian as the others tend more toward a minty flavor. Sweet basil’s flavor is often described as spicy and peppery, with a hint of clove and mint. Its flavor pairs well with: olive oil, garlic, lemon, rosemary and thyme – and of course, tomatoes and pasta dishes.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only, or in an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. Hydroponics has proven to have several advantages over soil gardening. The growth rate on a hydroponic plant is 30-50 percent faster than a soil plant, grown under the same conditions. The yield of the plant is also greater.
Want to Grow a Hydroponic Garden?
Tower Garden® is a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system. It’s perfect for rooftops, patios, balconies, terraces—just about any relatively sunny place outside. It can also be used indoors with a grow light. You can grow your own fresh veggies all year long! It interested, get in touch with Pat Sullivan at Juice Plus (http://psullivan.towergarden.com)