Herbs: Parsley

parsely

An honest laborious countryman, with good bread, salt and a little parsley, will make a contented meal with a roasted onion. — John Evelyn (1620-1706)

Time to re-think parsley; it’s a lot more than just garnish. Parsley is bright, easy to grow, keeps in the fridge for a long time and fights bad breath. Chop it up to use in salads, breads, vinaigrettes and soups. Parsley is an incredibly versatile, earthy herb.

A Mediterranean native, parsley is a biennial in the carrot family that’s grown as an annual. It is most often seen as a flat leaf variety (flat, serrated leaves with a sweet flavor; the leaves also dry well) or curly leaf (delicious in recipes and looks fantastic in the garden).

Plant parsley in rich, well-drained soil in a sunny area that gets direct light for at least 6 hours each day (though light shade will work also). Don’t worry, in our coastal regions the sun is still penetrating through the fog. Well-drained soil is essential. Work in plenty of organic matter and a complete fertilizer (we like E.B. Stone Organic All Purpose or E.B. Stone Tomato & Vegetable Food). Keep watered. The leaves can be used fresh or dried.