Harvertsing Basil

My basil is growing like wildfre. Easy question, do you harvest just the leaves or do you ct the stems?
Paul
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Paul M. Cook said:

I cut the stems to harvest, even though I will only be using the leaves. Basil needs to be cut back hard, to delay it going to seed.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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On 6/25/2009 2:44 AM, Pat Kiewicz wrote:

If any shoots show flower buds, pick those first. Discard the flower buds; they are supposedly bitter. (I don't know if they are really bitter because I always discard them.)
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Basil buds and flowers are considered a culinary luxury... they are a wonderful edible garnish and are fantastic in salads, etc, even make a very special pizza topping.
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If you are making pesto, the inflorescence is the best part of the plant.
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- Billy

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In article

New word for me maybe you too.
An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Strictly, it is the part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed and which is accordingly modified. The modifications can involve the length and the nature of the internodes and the phyllotaxis, as well as variations in the proportions, compressions, swellings, adnations, connations and reduction of main and secondary axes. The stem holding the whole inflorescence is called a peduncle and the main stem holding the flowers or more branches within the inflorescence is called the rachis. The stalk of each single flower is called a pedicel. The fruiting stage of an inflorescence is known as an infructescence. A flower that is not part of an inflorescence is called a solitary flower and its stalk is also referred to as a peduncle.
.......
So I take it the the most essential oils reside near the flowers and are primo ? Sort of remember soaking rose petals in oil. Anyone know of a study that relates to this and offers a table or graph?
Bill who just gets leaves of Basil here and places it on toast with tomato and EVO. Perhaps some goat manchego , Feta or other Italian cheese.
--
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Down to this point, it is winery talk. Never talk about infructescence, just clusters.

Take it from a northern Californian boy. Oh, high officer. We were just talking about grapes;O)), Yes.
Pesto can smell wonderful and taste so so. With inflorescences, you have a chance to make pesto that just reeks of basil, no matter how much galic you back fill with.

Let me know if you come up with one. Such things can be useful when lying on the floor at a wine tasting. (Last one standing is the loser;o)

I'm more of the garlic, olive oil, basil, tomato, parmesan type, but that's usually for lunch or dinner.
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- Billy

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Garlic is a given :))
Bill
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On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 15:34:29 -0400, Bill who putters

Yep. Thankee Billy.

Hmmmm........flash from the past. Didn't know the word inflorescence, but knew where the good stuff was.

Hungry now, post-midnite snack, thanks. Grabbing the torch and heading to the garden for handful of basil........should I put on some trousers?
Charlie, unable to sleep
After midnight, were gonna let it all hang down. After midnight, were gonna chug-a-lug and shout. Were gonna stimulate some action; Were gonna get some satisfaction. Were gonna find out what it is all about. After midnight, were gonna let it all hang down.
~~~~Eric Clapton
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Put on your pants Charlie. I think we've already aroused the good burgers.
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- Billy

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wrote:

I'm here to tell ya', there is something very very satisfying about gathering and prepping and savoring your middlenite meal au naturale.....but then I suspect you know this !
Charlie
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I use the leaves, and the inflorescence, before it goes to flower. My most pungent pestos are made with just the inflorescence. Don't cut the stalk. Between the branch and the leaf, a new stalk will push. Wait until it is formed to pick the original leaf.
--

- Billy

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A lot happens in a day. Today I discover many little white glowers all over the tops of the stalks. Mom says to shave the plants down to 1/2 the height. So it looks like pesto tonight - with flowers. This should be interesting.
So I guess just hacking the tops off makes them grow bushier? It's really amazing the schools of thought I am finding on this. Some people for example say you only take the leaves and others just say whack away at them they only grow more.
Gardening is such an inexact science it seems.
Paul
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Hmmm ...
Agriculture is the "Science" or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.
Horticulture is the "Art" or practice of garden cultivation and management.
In my book, Gardening is mostly Art, some Science and dabble of Magic.
Same with Cooking... Dan
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On 6/25/2009 6:05 PM, Dan L. wrote:

In "Horticultural Science" (W. H. Freeman and Co., 1963), Jules Janick (then a professor of horticulture at Purdue University) described "agriculture" as referring broadly to the technology of raising plants and animals. He then divided agriculture into "agronomy", which deals with field crops, and "horticulture, which deals with garden crops.
However, Janick's "garden crops" are not only what we grow in our own home gardens. He stated that they "include fruits and vegetables, all the plants grown for ornamental purposes, as well as spices and medicinals." He included commercial orchards, vineyards, and "truck gardens" as within the scope of horticulture.
According to Janick, agronomy generally involves extensive land land (large tracts with low input per acre) use while horticultural crops involve intensive land use (smaller tracts with high input). Agronomy thus deals with such field crops as grain, lumber, cotton, and tobacco; these are crops that are often consumed or processed when dry or even dead. Horticulture deals with such garden crops as vegetables and fruits, including those commercially grown; these are crops that are often consumed or processed when fresh and alive. (Sun-dried tomatoes and raisins result from processing fresh crops.) Corn for animal feed, oil, and corn meal is an agronomy crop; sweet corn eaten fresh is a horticulture crop.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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The definitions came from the dictionary for "Agriculture" and "Horticulture". I tend to agree with the dictionary. I still believe horticulture is more art than science. Many aspects to gardening, from propagation of plants to landscape design. Science tends towards "How things work". Art tends towards "What pleases the mind". For me gardening tends towards "What pleases the mind". Those Roses look fantastic with those purple Alliums.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
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Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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    I grow only the Greek basil called, "Spicy Globe", preferring its anise-like flavor to the sassafrass-like flavor of other varieties. I just cut the stems with scissors. Fresh, I use/freeze leaves only but before dehydrating, I suspend the entire stems, inverted, for a day and remove the leaves after drying.     I prune closely and frequently to encourage branching and compact growth but it has no effect on blossoming. For the variety that I grow, inflorescence has no effect on the flavor; in fact the blossoms add additional when used as an ingredient.     I plant basil throughout the garden and let it blossom every year, although, I do not let it set seed. The blossoms attract a wide variety of native insects - a few of which may help in garden pollination - although, they do necessitate rising pretty early to prevent a honeybee infestation.
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Sassafrass-like flavor of other varieties, Shirley, you jest? When I think of root beer, I think of sassafrass. When looking for basil, I look for "Genovese', or "di Genova" for that lemon, anise, clove flavor that I love in pesto.

(?)
Oh, the horror of it ;O)
The only time I avoid Basil is when it is Fawlty.
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- Billy

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