The next door neighbours basil.

We often have the neighbours over for dinner at our place. The next door neighbour always brings a few home brews and some produce from his garden.

Since we moved in he has been a great help in getting the garden going he has been here quite a few years and his garden is well setup although his large flock of chickens does tend to denude anything not protected.

This year though out the winter he has brought us amongst other things fresh basil. Even at the end of the winter after a number of hard frosts it was still fresh basil. In the end I had to ask him about it and he showed me a huge 2 meter across basil plant unprotected in the middle of Melbourne after a solid winter.

In his generous laid back fashion he mentioned the raspberry canes I gave him last year and asked if I wanted some root stock and cuttings.

Of course “just be neighbourly” I grabbed some root stock which I have planted out in 4 locations to see where it settles in and put aside a couple of pieces in the new mini hot house I built to get it going as gifts for some people who have helped me some difficult to get plants and items in the past. The circle turns.

As you can see from the photos it a serious survivor and the cuttings I got as well have taken off in less than a week

Like a lot of people I believe it is important to grow heritage open pollinated varieties of plants and cutting from old varieties of tree’s but even more important than that is what I will call very local varieties. Plants that grow well in your immediate area. Sadly as most people barely know their neighbours name and or their local community this can be hard with plants that grow really well in an area not readily available to be propagated for the benefit of all

So if you get a chance to have a chat with your local neighbours do so and see what grows well in their backyard and be happy to share what grows well in your backyard.

Oh and the spare basil leaves well couldn’t let them go to waste. A good old fashioned basil pesto with smoked chicken breast at the end of winter. Not too shabby at all.

Basil pesto with smoked chicken

  • A good bunch of basil
  • Almond slivers
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 good sized garlic cloves (as many as you like really)
  • Several good glugs of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I tend to use the food processor for this so I dry toast the nuts in frypan and add these to the other ingredients except the oil. Add some oil blend and add some more till you have the texture you are after.

I sliced warmed a smoked chicken breast we get from the gentleman at the famers market who does artisan smoking of meats and cooked some whole meal pasta cooked till al dente and stirred everything though.


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