Our Basil Forest

At the beginning of the summer our team planted several dozen basil plants at the Annie Fisher Montessori School. They were pretty small, with only a few leaves each and a couple of stems branching off the main stem. Over the course of two months, however, the plants flourished and now constitute a forest of basil. Our basil plants are big and bushy, with huge leaves and strong stems. Students at the school have harvested basil twice, reducing each plant to half its original size — and yet, the basil keeps growing. The last time we harvested basil, we brought three wheelbarrows to the field to hold all of the leaves. Our basil forest is invincible.
Our students were at first skeptical about their basil plants. “Can we eat them??” they asked. They soon found that yes, yes they could. We made batches of pesto, which initially received mixed reactions. Some students loved it — others grimaced and decided that it wasn’t their thing. One group of kids thought that adding sugar to the pesto would make it tastier (because sugar makes everything better). It didn’t.
The next day students made pasta to eat with the pesto, which went down much better than just plain pesto. They took servings around to all their classmates, who, for the most part, enjoyed it. Our work this summer is almost over, but the basil will still remain to be cared for, harvested and eaten by the little gardeners at the Annie Fisher school.

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