Parsley is one of the key ingredients in that famous cure for the common cold: chicken soup. It is slow to germinate but grows well even in colder temperatures once it’s sprouted.
I’ve put together an info sheet for Parsley, as it’s one of my favourite herbs to grow and preserve.
When it’s ready for harvest, I put it in my dehydrator for a few hours. When it’s dry, it gets stored in glass jars. Or big ziplock bags, whatever is handy at the moment. Glass is preferable but sometimes life is hectic and messy and not as well-organized as the photos on Pinterest.
I use parsley in chicken or turkey soup. Bone broth is a very healthy way to get calcium, particularly if you are lactose intolerant. After roasting the chicken or turkey, I boil the bones with parsley, bay leaf, sage leaf, and thyme. I usually let it simmer for at least a few hours on low. Sometimes all day, if I have the time.
When the boiling is done, I strain the broth, putting everything in the green bin. This way I don’t have to worry about kids eating the bay leaves or freaking out about the limp leafy stuff in their soup. The flavour has already been imparted and the broth is ready to sit all night in the fridge.
In the morning, I pick off the hard fat on top and strain the broth through cheesecloth (actually, it’s an old curtain) so there are no little grungy bits for anyone to complain about either. From there I add celery, carrots, kale (minced), and whatever else is in the fridge and asking to be dropped in soup.
In the garden, parsley takes care of itself. It doesn’t mind being cold and wet, unlike some other heat-loving herbs, so it’s a good candidate for a shadier location if you’re working with limited space. Another thing I love about parsley is how easy it is to collect the seeds. There are instructions in the info sheet above; just follow the link to a printable PDF. The parsley in the photo above was grown from seeds I saved myself. Parsley will flower in its second year of growth, providing you with lots of seeds for the following year but not very many greens for preserving. I usually grow another new batch of parsley while still allowing last year’s batch to grow and flower. It comes up early in the spring – always a welcome sight in the garden after a cold winter!
If you’d like to learn more about growing and cooking with herbs, particularly in containers, you might want to attend the workshop I’ll be leading at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery on May 25. See link below for details.
Thanks for reading. If you have any other great ideas for parsley, please let me know! You can share in a few ways:
1. On the Sarah’s Kitchen Gardens Facebook page.
2. In the Kitchen Garden Club – by SKG Facebook group.
3. Use the contact form to email me.