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Parsley

Parsley originates from Southern Europe. Parsley is one of those herbs that can easily be cultivated from seeds. Parsley plants can also be moved, however, these plants will seed if they are moved at the wrong time. Parsley grows by pushing out a long taproot and a strong root system to support it. This herb will do well in containers of a reasonable size or even as a lovely curly border for flower beds. If you are really pressed for space, fret not since a single Parsley plant will produce sufficient leaves to provide for the average household.

When growing Parsley, remember that Parsley seeds should be sown in warm soil and that Spring would be the best time to sow Parsley seeds. If you plan on only cultivating one or two parsley plants in your herb garden then it is best to sow the Parsley seeds in situ. On the other hand if you plan on having several Parsley plants in your herb garden, then you should consider sowing the seeds in seedbeds and plant them at a later stage. The Parsley seeds can sometimes take up to 10 weeks before it sprouts. The Parsley seedlings should be planted out when they are about 2 cm (0.78") in height and should preferably 20 to 25 cm (7.87 to 9.84") apart.

Parsley is a biennial herb, but the best leaves are produced during the first year. Then the herb produces the most flavorful leaves. I have found that it is best to allow the Parsley plant to seed in its second year and when the seeds sprout, I usually have a new plant each and every year. Allowing the parsley to seed in its second year will also be allowing the plant to reproduce itself and thus only the severest winter weather will hurt it. Other than sever winters, you will always have a Parsley plant in your herb garden.

The easiest way to preserve Parsley for use is to cut off a few Parsley sprigs, wash them, and keep them in a little bundle and chopping it as fine as you desire. Then place a thin layer of chopped Parsley on some cling wrap. Roll up the parsley in the cling wrap and freeze. This way, whenever you want to use some parsley you can simply roll down the required amount of chopped parsley in the cling wrap and use it.

Do not allow the plant to dry out. Following is more details regarding the Parsley varieties that can be cultivated in a herb garden.

Moss Curled Parsley

This herb is also known as Petroselinum crispum. Moss Curled Parsley is a biennial herb and loves sunny areas with rich moist soil. Moss Curled Parsley can grow to a height of approximately 40 cm (15.74") and should preferably be spaced 20 cm (7.87") apart. Moss Curled Parsley is one of those herbs that one should strive to ingest a little every day. If you grow Moss Curled Parsley try to grow them near roses. With roses as companion plants you will improve their health and scent.

Italian Parsley

This type of parsley is also known as Petroselinum crispum neopolitanum. Like the Moss Curled Parsley, Italian flat-leaf Parsley is also a biennial herb. The Italian Flat-leaf Parsley will grow slightly taller than the Moss Curled Parsley to approximately 45 cm (17.71") in height. When planting this herb make sure to space them 20 cm (7.87") apart. As a culinary herb, the flat-leaf Italian Parsley is best. This herb prefers a sunny position with moist rich soil. This variety of Parsley also has edible stems and has a stronger and smoother taste than the Curled Leaf Parsley.

How to use Parsley

Culinary Uses

  • Always add parsley towards the end of cooking if not being used raw.
  • Parsley is a popular culinary herb that can be used in a fish sauce or just as a garnish on most dishes.
  • Fresh Parsley can be used in a toss salad or summer salad, in a meatloaf, in egg dishes, in herb loafs, and as stuffing.
  • Parsley add flavor to sauces, soups and salads alike.
  • Parsley is an essential ingredient in bouquet garni and tartar sauce.
  • Use Parsley and mix with a little garlic and butter to make garlic butter – great with barbeque.

Medicinal Uses

  • Parsley as a medicinal herb is especially rich in iron.
  • Furthermore, Parsley is also a good source of Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous andIodine.
  • Parsley can also act as a diuretic.
  • This herb is a good herb to take a little of daily as it contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B andVitamin C. One teaspoon of parsley per day should do the trick. Parsley also acts as an aid to digestion.
  • Parsley is also known to purify the blood and strengthening the immune system.
  • Parsley is also good for bladder infections, kidney and gall bladder complaints, arthritis and it also aids blood circulation.
  • Parsley is also known to break down uric acid in the body.
  • Parsley can under these circumstances, can be used in a tea. Use dried parsley and dried roots of parsley and the seed in the tea.

Other uses

  • Make a potpourri.
  • A little parsley on a window sill will absorb smoke and nicotine smells.
  • Place a few sprigs of Parsley in a cupboard and get rid of a mothball smell.
  • Chewing parsley also acts as a breath freshener.

For the cook

Deviled Fish Sandwiches
  • 230 g (1/2 pound) any smoked fish
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • several drops of hot-pepper sauce or Tabasco sauce
  • heavy cream to bind
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • thinly sliced bread
  • butter

Mix together all the ingredients, except the bread and butter, to make a smooth paste. Butter the bread and spread half the slices with the filling. Make sandwiches, trim crusts, cut into squares and serve.

NOTE: Be careful of the powerful effects of herbs. Use herbs in small doses and stop taking them if you feel side effects. Consult your doctor before taking herbs if you are unsure about their effects.