What is the best way to harvest leaves off my basil plants?  Is it best to take the largest leaves first or to concentrate on a single stalk?

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Basil is so easy!  It is a very hearty plant once it is established.  I cut my basil often to keep my plant in "hyper growth mode".  I then either dry the leaves in a 200 degree oven on a sheet tray in a single layer and keep it in a spice bottle or better yet, make pesto, which you can easily freeze for months!  You can also blend it in a cuisinart with olive oil and freeze that in a tube to be squeezed into soups or pastas.  Cut less than 70 percent of the plant at a time or it may die.  Wherever you snip it you will notice several new stems will grow from that one cut making your plant very bushy over time.

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