Autumn, culinary herbs, seasonal living

Harvesting Basil (and what to do with it)

In spring, two of my daughters planted some basil seed. I wasn’t optimistic. First, the seeds were from a kids’ mini-greenhouse kit from a toy shop. Second, I have tried to grow basil from seed before - and failed. Well, I should have had a bit more faith, because that basil sprouted ...

Autumn, gardening, seasonal living

The Olive Harvest

Olives, the olive branch and the olive tree are symbolic in many cultures and religions, from ancient Egypt to Christianity to the Arab world. In ancient Greece, newborn babies were presented with an olive branch, brides wore a crown of olive leaves, and olive wreaths were given to the dead. It was illegal to cause damage to an olive tree in ancient Greece - a crime that was actually punishable by death at one point! The olive tree was also sacred to Athena and had a special place in the myth of the founding of Athens, the city I live in.