Storing Parsley and Basil

Today is August 22, 2016 CSA week #14. Almost 3 weeks ago we got parsley in  our CSA share. I put that parsley in my refrigerator to see what is the best way to store it. I put two small bunches in a tall container with water (on the left), hoping that the tall sides would protect the parsley. The other bunch I put in a glass of water. Like I would a bunch of flowers, leaving the parsley leaves exposed to the air. I didn’t take a picture of them on July 29th, darn. This picture is was taken this morning.


I didn’t change the water, or do anything to them after I put them in their containers. Have a look at the difference between the two.


The two bunches on the left that were somewhat protected by the container look nearly fresh. The bunch on the right is droopy but usable.

Here is a closer look at on of the bunches on the left kept in the higher sided container.


I think we can conclude that keeping bunches of herbs like parsley (cilantro too) in containers of water will keep the herbs fresh for weeks. The higher the side, the better!

Let’s talk about basil now. Here at Red Wagon we harvest basil by ‘tipping’ the plants. We only take the top 6 leaves off the basil plants.


We harvest the tips of the leaves because it allows the plant to keep producing harvest-able leaves which, in turn will prevent the plant from flowering. We can harvest our basil all season without succession plantings.

Basil doesn’t like cold at all. That makes storing a little tricky. With a little trial and error I have found that given the way we harvest basil the best way I have found to store the basil is like this.

In a semi-opened baggie in the door (warmest part) of the refrigerator. I don’t have a butter shelf in my refrigerator. If you do, that would be a great place to store your basil.


The semi-opened baggie seems to be the key to storing the basil longer than a few days. I tried storing closed bags and I also tried to poke holes in bags of basil and leaving about a 1/3 of the bag open/un-zipped, kept my basil fresh for 8 to 10 days.

This is day 11 and the basil is starting to look a little sad :-(  . It’s usable, but on it’s last leg.  I made pizza last night and used some of this basil. I had to pick through it, but it was fine.


I hope this was helpful and that all your herbs are fresh and lovely. Enjoy your week!

Let any questions or comments below and I’ll see some of you at the pick-ups!







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1 Response to Storing Parsley and Basil

  1. Kelly says:

    This is SUPER helpful, thank you so much for sharing!!!

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