Grown using the closed-loop, organic aquaponics method, this Fresh Sweet Thai Basil is produced by local veggie grower Fort Orchard Aquaponics (Gold Beach). Sweet Thai Basil has a spicy flavor reminiscent of anise and cloves, and goes well in curries and many other Asian dishes. Purple stems and flowers contrast attractively with the 2 in. green leaves.
To keep basil fresh, trim the stems and place them in a glass or jar of water, just like cut flowers. Loosely cover it with a plastic bag and leave it on the counter. Although certain herbs, such as parsley and cilantro, can be stored this way in the fridge, basil does better at room temperature.
So what is Aquaponics? Simply put, it is a system whereby plants grow in water instead of soil, using the waste that fish produce to create the nutrients that the plants need.
An aquaponics system works by creating a nitrogen cycle. In this cycle, the three main elements, the fish, the plants, and the bacteria, share the water. In the fish tank, fish produce high ammonia wastes. The pump carries this waste into the growing tubs, where the bacteria convert these wastes into nitrites and then into nitrates. Those nutrients then flow under the “rafts” to be taken up by the roots on the plants.
These nitrates become food for the plants to grow, and in return, the plant roots clean the water in the growing tubs before it returns to the fish tank for the fish to live. It’s a continuous cycle, where the bacteria convert fish wastes into food for the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish.