Monday, October 8, 2012

Parsley Surprise

Every year I plant a little box of fresh herbs.  The deck gets plenty of sunshine and is not accessible to the animals who love to eat the plants.  I love clipping the fresh herbs for seasoning and garnishing the fresh summer vegetables.

A few weeks ago, something shot up from the box and grew like crazy.  At first I thought I must have a weed but decided to let the plant keep growing.

It topped the deck rail by more than a foot.

It bloomed!

Several blossoms on the stalk.

When I followed the stem to its origin, I was surprised to find that it was an offshoot of the flat-leaf parsley! I've grown herbs for years and have never seen parsley bloom.

Here is the parsley plant from which the blossoms began.

Three things about autumn trouble me:  1) the summer tomatoes and corn are gone; 2) the fresh herbs cannot tolerate the cooler nights and give up; and 3) the hours of daylight are dwindling.  I can purchase greenhouse tomatoes but they don't taste the same.  I can purchase high quality frozen summer veggies but it is not the same as selecting them from the market and cooking them fresh.  I can buy fresh herbs but it's not the same as clipping my own.  Alas, I am totally powerless with regards to the dwindling daylight.  I will burn lots of candles and start the fire often.  I will wait until the winter solstice and count the increasing milliseconds of daylight.  I can be happy that we now live in sunny North Carolina instead of gray Wisconsin for the winter.  And I will enjoy the wonder of the changing season and be thankful that we are safe.


How Sam Sees It said...

We planted an herb garden years ago here in AZ - to our surprise, the dill came back year after year, even after the herb garden was long gone. Every once in a while I will still come across a dill plant in the wash that runs behind my Mom's house.


Dog_geek said...

I hear 'ya. I just harvested all my remaining basil yesterday and made pesto, since I figured this cold snap was probably going to do it in anyway. I miss it already! And the short days... blah!

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I recognize that counting of each moment of sun, as we first lose it and then regain it after solstice. Now I look at the sky and think, here is where the sun will be in April. Nice. I can't wait!

We've been harvesting our tomatoes, quartering and freezing them for sauces in winter. Just froze a batch of pesto too. It's a delicious hint of the garden during the dark days of January.

The Bug said...

We had a volunteer cilantro plant this year - I love to let them bolt so they'll grow again the next year (I know, the idea is to EAT the herbs, but since I don't cook...). Mike is planning to pick all the green tomatoes of a good size today & see if they'll ripen inside. It was 29 degrees this morning!

I wrote a poem last year (I think), called I Mourn the Passing of the Light. And I think that sums it up. Sigh.

Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks for the reminder...I've still got basil leaves, will harvest them today!

Folkways Note Book said...

Here in KY we still have folks selling fresh tomatoes at the farmers market. Only a few that is. They cover their tomatoes. But this week is going to be a challenge to keep the tomatoes going. I too will miss all the fresh veggies and greens -- I always think I will start some greens inside but seldom get around to it. Maybe this year? - barbara

Karin said...

Totally agree with you! Love fresh herbs and there's no better tasting tomato than one from the vine!!

Ms. A said...

I've be waiting and waiting on the cooler weather and forgot all about the dwindling daylight that comes with it. Oh well, I DO like the cool.

Rudee said...

Our winter was so mild last year, the parsley survived. I couldn't believe it in the spring, but there it was!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your beautiful parsley reminds me of cilantro; it does the same thing....looks like a good clipping for a table bouquet. {and fragrant too}
Our days are still long and hot, but I can see the future through your eyes. FALL?!?

Taradharma said...

we've had a hot summer which requires the herb pots get frequent watering. The cilantro bolted as per usual, but the various thyme and chives are doing well. We'll see what happens when we finally get some frost. But I don't think we're close just yet.

When I had a big garden, I would can, freeze and dry vegetables and herbs for winter use. Not always successful, but good enough. It was great to open a jar of red tom sauce for an italian dish and smell our fruit from months before.

Jayne said...

What a nice surprise! I sort of love the transition times the best. Not too cold, not too hot. Spring and autumn all year long would be heavenly, but like you, we'll just count our blessings and be happy regardless. :c)

Anonymous said...

Did you see this cartoon yesterday? :)

Oh. . . and ditto and roger as to your feelings about living in NC.

The parsley bolts and sets seed in the second year. The butterflies will probably put you on their tour map. You may need a bigger planter. :)

Anonymous said...

Did you see this cartoon yesterday? :)

Oh. . . and ditto and roger as to your feelings about living in NC.

The parsley bolts and sets seed in the second year. The butterflies will probably put you on their tour map. You may need a bigger planter. :)

NanaNor's said...

I never thought I'd miss the seasons of Ca. but when it comes to fresh produce I do. I now buy fresh corn from a local farmer and freeze it-not the same as on the cob but good still the same. We are cloudy and cold here and the farmers are saying we are in for a long winter...yuck.
Have a great afternoon.

troutbirder said...

That is a first.A towering parsley plant. Interesting. On the otherhand I love our gray cold Minnesota winters.... Who am I kidding. I sit in my easy chair reading under the sun lamp, covered by four blankets, wool socks on, never go outside except in dire emergencies, doze alot and dream of spring....:)

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Try leaving your herbs outside, I do. Mine are on my deck outside the kitchen area. Basil won't make it in the cold, but many of the others will. My parsley lasts through the winter as does thyme, sage, oregano, and rosemary. I also have winter savory...hardy subshrub.
Since your parsley bloomed, it is in its second year (it is a biennial) Let is go to seed and viola`, new plants from the seeds.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.

dog geek - Nice to hear from you. Hope you and the dogs are fine. I miss your blogging.

Robin - yes, having your own veggies in winter brings back a bit of summer.

Bug - What? You don't cook? :)

merrily - thanks for the link. I love Arlo and Janis

Troutbirder - That big lie is the same one we told when we lived in WI...we LOVE the snow and cold, gray days.

Janey - interesting. I bought the plants this spring so the nursery must have grown them last year.

Cicero Sings said...

Nothing like freahly cut herbs! Ahhh, thw flavour. The ones from the store are teasteless in comparison. My parsley always bolts into a flower head way before its time!