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Parsley is easy to grow, lovely to look at, and a good source of iron

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That lovely decorative curly green carefully placed alongside your mouth-watering main course, is not just another pretty ornament. Parsely is an edible and highly nutritious herb that many just toss aside not realizing that a 60gr (one cup) serving satisfies our daily Vitamin A requirement (at 101%). A cup may sound like a lot, but a few sprinkles throughout the day add up.

The same serving provides 133% of our daily Vitamin C, 21% of our daily iron, 8% of our daily calcium, and 2 gr of protein. Low cholesterol, low fat, this decorative herb is well worth eating and a great addition to any salad, soup, stew, or smoothie.

Parsley is easy to grow; plants can be bought at any one of our wonderful local farmers' markets and seeds can easily be planted. It loves sun, tolerates partial shade, and grows best in well drained soil. Flowerheads can be removed and the plant may enjoy fertilization every once in a while. The best leaves are those that appear before the flowers.

Small or large pots can be kept outdoors in the summer but a garden is even better! There is nothing more enjoyable than cutting fresh parsely, rinsing and drying it gently, chopping and tossing it into a salad or favourite dish. What could be more appetizing than "greening" our city while eating our own produce?

Parsley can be dried or frozen for use after summer. Whether sprinkling parsley on a cucumber, bean, tomato, quinoa, or green salad, blending a whole bunch into a hot or cold summer soup, or adding it to delights of the sea, the joy is in knowing that it comes from your garden.

There are many additional health benefits but for now, it might be more fun just to enjoy! Get dirty! Get planting! For recipe ideas or nutrition information, don’t be shy! Ask Joanna

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