Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Friday, 2 April 2010


There are all sorts of 'old wives' or folk tales about parsley, including that it should be sown on Good Friday (when the Devil's busy). The idea has recently come back into fashion, but not for any religious significance.

We're told that seeds work with the seasons, they react to natural forces and one of the most powerful of nature's forces is the Moon. It regulates the tides and can do the most weird things to people too, but that's by the by.

Apparently if parsley seeds are sown as close to a full moon as possible they germinate more quickly - other seeds need other phases of the lunar cycle. If you read Guide to planting by the moon or Planting by the Moon Phases you'll learn far more than Mrs Rigby can tell you in one short blog post.

And if you'd like to know why Good Friday was chosen as a good day to plant parsley you'll see that it matches a full moon, because the church calendar sets the date of Easter according to the lunar calendar, as follows :
Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon (PFM).

In June 325 A.D. astronomers approximated astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them Ecclesiastical Full Moon (EFM) dates.

From 326 A.D. the PFM date has always been the EFM date after March 20 (which was the equinox date in 325 A.D.).
Yep, it's a bit wordy, but that doesn't matter too much as it's enough of an explanation.

If you don't believe sowing seeds according to the Lunar calendar works then why not try a little experiment. Sow some parsley seeds now, or tomorrow, or on Easter Sunday and sow some more in at weekly intervals until you've used up the whole packet. See which germinate first.

You might be surprised - we Rigbys were last year, but aren't sure if the same will happen this year because it's so blimmin cold and we don't trust this new-fangled lunar science thingy - at least not yet.

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