I grow parsley in my summer garden (New Hampshire) every year. It’s a healthy herb that can be added to so many dishes. It can be planted earlier than most crops, as it tolerates cold weather, and it will grow until it’s covered with snow. I’ve had deer in my yard poking through an early snowfall just to pull up parsley to eat (my photo here).
Because it’s easy to grow, and the little plants take up very little garden space. IMO everyone should grow their own parsley! My backyard garden is not large, but I always have around 6-12 parsley plants growing among my other vegetable plants.
Parsley is Healthy
Parsley is good for overall health and is especially good for the kidneys as it acts as a diuretic to flush waste out of the body. That link will take you to a page I wrote about the general overall benefits of growing and eating parsley. I mention a few ways to preserve it as winter approaches, and I’ve tried a couple.
I briefly covered how to freeze parsley because I was not too familiar with doing it personally. But last year I discovered how easy it was to not only preserve it by freezing, but how easy it was to use it later on.
This is how I freeze my fresh picked parsley. Always pick parsley by the stem and use the largest outside stems first. This will cause the plant to continue to send out new stems from the middle of the plant. I pick just a few stems – 6 or 7- to preserve by the amount I plan to use each time. I like to use a lot of parsley in my meals.
Preparing the Fresh Parsley
Wash the leaves by dunking them in a bowl of water. Hold the stems and swish the leaves until all dirt and debris is removed. Use a clean towel to remove most of the water. I ‘slap’ the leaves on the towel a few times. Put the parsley, still on the stems, into a jar or vase until the leaves dry completely. That shouldn’t take long.
Once the parsley is dry, line a cutting board or the counter with saran wrap, or freezer wrap. Pull off the leafy part of the plants and pile them up on the saran. Gather all the leaves in a bunch and roll them up. Just keep rolling and gathering the ones that escape, until you have a nice, fairly tight roll of greens.
Wrap the saran or freezer paper tightly around your roll, and add it to the freezer. I wrap mine in saran, and then place all the little parsley rolls in one quart size freezer bag which I label with name and date.
This is the basis for freezing. If you have a lot of parsley and want to freeze more together in a bigger roll, or want to freeze individual portions, that is up to you. It can be unwrapped and sliced once frozen, so you don’t have to use the entire roll.
Drying Fresh Parsley to Preserve
I also dried a bunch of parsley last year using my dehydrator. That was a much more time-consuming method, but it works as well.