Things are looking good for parsley—so concludes Camilo Penalosa of Miami-based Infinite Herbs. “This time of year there’s always a little shortage here and there. Unless something drastic happens, we’ll be fine,” says Penalosa, who currently receives parsley supply from Baja, Ca., Texas and Florida. “There are less people growing in January and February compared to the rest of the year. But in general, things are okay.” 

Prices equally steady
In turn, Penalosa also notes that the prices are looking stable for now. “We have agreements because of the volumes that we work and unless there’s an act of God—a frost or excessive rain someplace--or something like that, we have pretty stable prices for the year, regardless of whether the market is higher or slower,” he says.

End of winter worries

That said, Penalosa is looking ahead to a slightly more worrisome time of year in the parsley business—March, when the number of daylight hours start increasing again. “It’s a challenging time of year because the product tends to bolt,” he says. (Bolting is when parsley begins flowering.) “And if you don’t have some new plantings that you can avoid the bolting with, you’re going to have difficulty harvesting the product because a lot of it bolts. That usually lasts for two to three weeks in each of the areas. And once a plant bolts, you either have to cut and let it grow back or eliminate the crop and replant. It’s a touchy time of the year on how to do those things.”

Substituting supply
While Infinite works around it by working in supply from regions such as New Jersey, Ohio and California, it’s still something Penalosa keeps annual tabs on. “We deal with it every year but nature is tricky. Sometimes the heat comes earlier, or later and you still haven’t planted your other crops or you planted them and they’re not ready yet and that sometimes creates shortages,” he says. “Nature doesn’t come with a manual.”

For more information:
Camilo Penalosa
Infinite Herbs
Tel: +1 617-319-9253