I have had a couple of recipes in my weekly dinner plan that have basil in them for the last couple of weeks. I chose these recipes a little while ago and added basil to my shopping list. My basil plant in my garden wasn't doing so well, wilted leaves, large seed heads and bitter-tasting leaves (picture was taken when the basil was in its prime). I just thought this was a result of the poor soil it is currently planted in, being in terribly non-neutral (pH) mushroom compost in a bath tub.
However, from my continual search for basil in the shops and farmers' market and its lack of presence on the shelves I have come to the conclusion that basil is out of season. And due to its complete lack of presence in the supermarket I assume it is a herb that is too fragile to transport over large distances for any reasonable price.
Once again, lesson learnt, no basil in winter and will start to think about sorting my recipe book into suitable seasons in which to cook them rather than under categories such as 'pasta', 'meat', 'chicken' and so on.
The lesson: shop seasonally for fruit and vegetables and also herbs and you will shop for less and have less impact on the planet through reduced transportation impacts/costs.