Finding young Italian basil in SF (not overgrown)
I'm having a heck of a hard time finding in San Francisco some Italian basil that's not overgrown.
Basil loses its fragrance (and acquires some bitterness) starting 2-3 days before it flowers, as the plant concentrates on flowering and producing seeds. This typically happens when it reaches the 6th pair of leaves.
All the basil I can find locally is way overgrown, some even with full flowers!! Needless to say, the resulting pesto is "schifoso" (not that great).
I've hit Whole Foods, Bi-Rite, and even the Farmer's market, where the only stall that had basil, Chue, looked at me weirdly when I asked if they had basil that was not overgrown.
Anyone has any pointers? I am growing some on the windowsill (and it's delicious), but it's hardly enough!!
Trader Joe's has live basil plants, along with their various potted plants.
Plant is approx 6-8 " tall. Large, but no buds showing.
The price is only $2.99
I bought mine 10 days ago, brought it home, and popped it into a larger pot.
Very happy, and still no signs of buds.
Right now, its up to its 3rd or 4th pair of leaves.
I feel your pain. It's been hit and miss for me at farmers markets. I saw some great young basil about a month ago at the Ferry Building's Saturday market, but last week they were flowering. I did find some at the Crocker Galleria farmers market last Thursday, but who knows what this week will bring. Today's Civic Center market had a lot of flowering basil.