Basil is so much more than that one, sad green leaf you find haphazardly tossed into your marinara or on top of your pizza. Basil adds a fresh, pungent richness of summer flavor to any of your fresh dishes, salads, or sauces, as cooking this herb for longer than a minute or two leads to a bitter, unpleasant flavor. Chiffonade basil to top salads or sauces for a fresh kick, serve whole with mozzarella di bufala and tomatoes for a super fresh caprese, or whip up with some pine nuts and olive oil for a super-satisfying pesto.



LaCatena Verdura Fresca

LaCatena Verdura Fresca, which in Italian means “fresh vegetables” was started in 2023 by Joseph LaCatena. He wanted to grow different organic, fresh, tasty, and nutrient dense vegetables in the black dirt region of Chester, NY. Joseph was introduced to farming while attending college at SUNY Cobleskill, where he graduated with a horticulture degree. Since graduating he worked different lands throughout New York and has worked the black dirt for the past four years. The black dirt produces some of the most flavorful and nutrient dense plants around, the soil is from a drained glacial lake bottom, and contains over 30% organic matter.

With the influence of his Italian heritage and family of entrepreneurs, this is his first year with his own two-acre farm focusing on a variety of Italian vegetables such as tomato’s, eggplants, peppers, cardoons, and fennel, with plans to produce his own tomato sauce and hot sauce in the very near future.

Trim the ends and store stem-side down in a jar or plastic quart container with an inch or two of water in a sunny, but not hot, spot. Change water every other day for up to 6 days.