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Growing and Selling Fresh Cut Herbs.
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of the Month
flat leaf or Italian
Petroselinum crispum neapolitanum
To 12 inches
must be familiar with the common curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum crispum).
For many years it has been used as a plate garnish in restaurants and
it is found in most supermarket produce sections next to lettuce and other
greens. This fact speaks volumes about its popularity with cooks and chefs
all over the world, not only as a garnish but also as a flavoring ingredient.
Italian, sometimes called flat leaf, parsley
has a more pronounced flavor and is more in demand as a cooking ingredient
by Chefs. It is gaining favor with home gardeners and cooks as well.
Both curly and flat leaf parsley are flavor blenders;
that is, they are most often used in combination with other herbs. Sometimes
they are used alone and chopped finely and sprinkled on food to add color
without altering the flavor.
Both parsley types are easy to grow but starting
the plants from seed may be a bit tricky. They germinate easily but may
take up to 3 weeks to sprout and the seeds must be kept uniformly moist
until germination occurs. Covering the pot or flat with plastic until
the seeds germinate makes this task easier. Be sure to lift the plastic
daily (after the first week or so) to check for germination. Remove the
plastic just as soon as the first seed germinates.
There are many varieties of parsley seed available
today. Look for curly types labeled "triple curled". Avoid both types
of parsley that are dwarf or compact because both are closer to the ground
and become soiled easier. This is especially problematic with curly parsley
as soil can become imbedded within the leaves and be quite hard to clean
out. Look for types that have long stems, deep color and resistance to
bleaching or yellow leaves.
Parsley is covered in more detail in Chapter
22 of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs by Sandie Shores.
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Herb of the Month pages.
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Independent Publishers Group.
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Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
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