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Windowsill Gardening
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Many herbs grow well indoors, including thyme, basil, chives, oregano, parsley and cilantro. If there is no garden center or nursery close to your home, you can always order seeds, plants, tools, soil, or whatever else strikes you online! One good resource for this is Garden.Com. On their site, you'll even find an article devoted to the "how to's" of indoor gardening.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind once your herbs start sprouting:

  • Keep containers near a sunny window--herbs need at least four hours of sunlight. If direct sunlight is not available, you'll need to provide supplemental lighting. The National Gardening Association offers some good advice on how to do this.

  • Herbs grow best in moderate temperatures -- 70° during the day and 55-60° at night is an ideal range. For more detailed information on moderating your indoor climate, visit the tips page on Weslyn Farms' site.

  • Once plants reach 6" in height, they're ready for harvesting. It's safe to harvest up to half the leaves without harming the plant, so don't be shy about taking what you need -- plants thrive when trimmed! The Whole Herb has a section devoted to windowsill gardens with a growers guide and details about harvesting.
If you have questions about indoor gardening or gardening in general, a good place to get expert advice is in the Gardening Forum on CompuServe. In addition to having a place to ask the pros, you'll find their libraries are packed with helpful files on a wide range of gardening topics.

An indoor herb garden is a terrific way to bring the scent of summer into your home. As an added benefit, you'll always have fresh herbs available in a pinch.

Happy growing & enjoy!

The Webicurean™

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4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp finely chopped toasted pinenuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp freshly grated Romano cheese
4 tbsp butter, softened

In a food processor or blender, add the garlic, salt, and pinenuts and whirl just to chop the garlic. Then add the basil leaves and olive oil, processing until smooth (you may need to scrape down the sides from time to time). Add the cheeses and butter just to blend.

Toss with 1 lb. of your favorite pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. This sauce freezes well, so make plenty while the basil is in season!

Serves 4 to 6.

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