Tuesday, May 19, 2009

St. Anthony of Padua Basil Pots

And since we are talking about herbs, let's look at another herb, one associated with a June saint, St. Anthony of Padua. We have just under a month to grow some pots of basil to help celebrate his feast day in a unique way. According to the Saint Anthony of Padua website, it is customary to decorate with pots of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) on that day and to give some away to friends with prayers invoking this Saint. Hopefully posting now gives you plenty of time to get some ready and embrace this tradition.

We purchased some small terra cotta pots at the craft store and painted them to remind us of St. Anthony. His symbols include the lily, bread, Christ Child, book, fish. We used acrylic paints and Sharpie markers to decorate the basil pots. To help keep paints from fading or wearing away (especially if pots will be used outside), use 2 coats of a clear acrylic indoor/outdoor sealant such as Krylon spray to coat after painting.

After filling them with potting soil we planted some Sweet Basil. Now we will tend the pots for the next several weeks and hopefully by June 13 have some decent basil plants to decorate our table and to give away to friends for their kitchens or patios. Keep a pot of basil nearby and you'll always have some of this fresh herb to add to your cooking.

Some basil growing tips:

*Basil is sentivite to cold and is best grown in hot, dry conditions.
*Basil will grow best outdoors, but can be grown inside placed in window with lots of sun.
*Pinch off the growing tips to make the plants bushier.
*Remove flower spikes to prolong your harvest.
*Add a small amount of fertilizer every month or so.
*Water at the base of the plant avoiding showering the leaves and stems.
*Basil can also be propagated very reliably from cuttings.
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  1. This is very informative and useful not only for St Anthony's celebration but for everyone with a taste for fresh herbs. I would love to find the time for this type of activity. Thank you Mary for the lovely post and God bless!

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  2. Thank Saint of wonders, please Father Anthoni help me to restore myself because am lost. i promise to give bread to the poor this June 13 2009. From Chinedum Nedu Antoni. NIGERIA

  3. What a wonderful surprise to find this recipe idea! My daughter's birthday is on St. Anthony's feast day. It is a perfect way to celebrate. (Also (on a side note), St. Pio is one of my favorite saints and sausage and pasta is one of my favorites too. I think the recipe for his feast day is perfect. Can't wait to try it!) May God bless you for alll your hard work and for sharing these terrific recipe ideas. Thank you!