Basil, known in Spanish as albahaca, is a favorite herb of many food and garden enthusiasts. The tender leaves with their fresh and sweet flavor, are great in sandwiches, and salads, or mixed up into a pesto with pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, butter and Parmesan cheese. The leaves can be dried and saved for the winter, when basil does not grow well. Basil likes it warm, so keep your starts inside and wait to transplant until it consistently stays warm at night. Rich, well worked soil is essential for a good harvest. If your soil has lots of clay, is very hard, or does not hold water well, you may want to dig in some compost. Basil is well suited to growing in containers since it does not get very big; if growing in a container keep an eye on moisture since pots dry out much quicker than the ground. We are growing a standard Italian sweet basil, sometimes called “Genovese.” There are many types of basil with distinct flavors, a sweet basil is used for pesto, while Thai basil is often used in soups. There is also African basil, lemon basil and many others. All types are wonderful and have countless uses in the kitchen. With basil and most herbs, freshness is key, and nothing is fresher than home grown.