Basil is our best-selling herb.  Its sharp, bright flavor is great with tomatoes, and in the classic Italian pesto sauce.  It is generally used raw or only lightly cooked.  Basil darkens considerably when bruised or saturated with oil. 

Basil is best stored in cool but not cold conditions - it turns brown under refrigeration.  For this reason, high-quality fresh basil can be difficult to find. 

At Old Ways Farm, we cut basil three mornings a week.  We keep it in water - as you would cut flowers - as we bundle it for sale.  It's delivered to stores the same morning it's cut. 

To assure a consistent, year-round supply, we grow several fairly similar varieties of Italian basil, identified by the seed growers as Genovese, Chen, Sweet, and Italian.  Basil is an annual in most climates; with pruning it can last more than one season in Hawaii.  For your own basil plant, you can leave a few of our cuttings in water - they're still alive and growing when you buy them - until roots form, and then transplant into a container or into the garden.