My first experience with herbs was in the backyard of the farmhouse where I lived as as a young child. Parsley was the only herb my foster grandmother grew, but it made a great impression upon me.
I remember picking the pungent stems, just the way she showed me, chewing a few of the curly little leaves while I worked. The taste was pungent, savory, peppery, the flavor of spring, of tradition. My grandmother told me stories as we harvested, of life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when she was young.
She was nearly ninety, when I was born so the tales she told of tradition, of gardening, and just plain living, were nearly forgotten by most, even then.
Some years I’ve cultivated nearly a dozen varieties of herbal plants. This spring, I lacked time and energy for so many, but I couldn’t resist starting a couple pots of parsley, in memory of Grandma Lee.
Parsley loves cool weather. It’s sometimes healthy and full at Thanksgiving, ready for use in holiday turkey dressing. I’ve never planted it in late summer, but perhaps that’s a possibility.