Growing Endive by the Phases of the Moon
Endive, also known as chicory, has been around for quite some time. Its
history traces back to old Mediterranean cultures, planted by the Greeks and the
Romans and even the Egyptians. It has been used for food and for healing. It is
nutritionally rich with vitamins and minerals including amino acids and calcium.
Its bitter taste is said to be an appetite stimulant. It is also believed to aid digestion.
In the culinary kitchen, endive
leaves has been used to add more bite
and flavor into salads by mixing it
with the usual blander tasting salad
leaves. Beyond the kitchen, in
European folklore, its blue flowers are
believed to be able to unlock doors.
Early spring is the best season to
start planting endive. In olden times,
farmers and gardeners have also been
using the moon's phases as a guide
on when to start sowing endive. Along with other leafy plants that grow above the
ground, such as lettuce and spinach, it has been planted and harvested following
rhythms in nature that man has learned to listen to since he started to settle down
in one place and grow his own food.
Even in today's times, there are still many who keep to gardening and
farming by moon phases. Its benefits have been proven and sworn to by seasoned
growers. Many who subscribe to organic farming also naturally gravitate towards
planting by the moon in order to maximize the harmony of nature in producing a
rich harvest. Besides, it never hurt to work with nature. It's when people try to go
against it that troubles often brew.
The general rule if one wants to try growing endive by the phases of the
moon is to know that the period of waxing moon is best for plants that yield
produce above the ground. Plants that yield produce below ground, such as
potatoes and other root crops, need another moon phase.
The first part of the waxing period is the period between new moon and first
quarter. This is the prime time of growing endive by the phases of the moon, as
well as any other plants that produce their seeds on the outside. Plants that have
their seeds on the inside, which are fruit-bearing plants, have their best time during
the period between first quarter and full moon. Hence take careful note because
within the waxing moon period, the first week is the important week for planting
While some folklore may be attached to the old ways of planting by the
moon, the benefits of growing endive by the phases of the moon can be simply
explained. When the moon is growing, its natural gravitational pull also increases.
This is what affects the tides and, naturally, other fluids on and in the earth,
including the waters in the soil and inside plants. When thus influenced, plants are
better able to bring water and nutrients up to the whole plant. The pull of the moon
helps the plant, in this case the endive, into pushing up its food from the soil and
distribute them to the farthest, highest tips.
The history of endive may go far back but it has also been consistent in its
perceived nutritional and culinary benefits. Its myths are very few, as it has mostly
been a very practical food plant. But even then, it succumbs to the natural magic
of the moon as it yields to growth at its call.
Organic Gardening by the Phases of the Moon
In recent years, many people have begun to retrace their steps to return to
nature. Opting for ways of living that work in harmony with nature is fast
becoming a trend in a commercially saturated and technologically overloaded
society. Organic gardening is one such effort to embrace the natural cycles of
growing fruits, vegetables and even ornamental flowers. It relies on methods that
use no or much less manufactured synthetic products such as fertilizers and
pesticides. Instead it draws from the wisdom of ancient traditions enhanced by the
new knowledge of the modern world.
Organic gardening by the phases of the moon further explores the advantages
of working with the power of nature to help grow healthy plants. Just as the
moon's phases affect the tides, it also has influence on the biological system of
plants including how sap flows. The gravitational effect of the moon on the water
in the soil and on the sap in the stems helps plants survive and evolve from seed to
fruit, flower or leaf.
As the moon grows or waxes, water and fluids are pulled by the moon's
gravity. Note that for plants, nutrients from the soil and water are absorbed
upwards. The movement is from the ground up so the challenge for the plant,
especially if it is a young plant or seed, is to push itself up. The moon's pull when
it is waxing could mean that crucial tug of force that will spell the difference
between bloom and bust. Hence, wait for the new moon and first quarter periods
before sowing any seeds or attempting to transplant. This is also the best period to
apply liquid fertilizers as they will be quickly absorbed and distributed from roots
to leaf tips. Organic gardening by the phases of the moon ensures that the plant's
opportunities for survival and growth are maximized.
Pruning is also advisable during the first quarter moon. This is because the
liquid inside the plants, or the sap, is flowing upwards more strongly. When
pruned, the plant needs to feed the pruned area to encourage re-growth. Think of it
as something like sending nutrients to an injured part of the body to help it
recover. In the same phase, one can schedule grafting or budding because these
will need a strong flow of sap to the grafted areas.
On the other hand, the phase of the waning moon, from full moon to the last
quarter, has a weaker gravitational effect. Thus, fluid flows in the plants are
primarily in the root areas. The flow up to the rest of the plant tends to be slower.
Therefore, planting of root crops is best at this time since the concentration of
nutrients is needed more at the roots.
If one wants to control some plants that have grown too wildly for one's
taste, the last quarter phase is the best time to do so since the re-growth will be
tempered by the slow flow of sap and water. Some people also say one should cut
fingernails around the same time so it would not grow back too fast, but that's
One would not easily think that the moon could have such effects on how
plants grow. But organic gardening by the phases of the moon brings rewards to
the gardener that more than compensates for the trouble of having to wait for the
right period to plant or prune. Work with the moon and find its natural powers
undiminished by time.
Planting Parsley in Phase with the Moon
Parsley is a popular herb that every one must have encountered on one's plate
at least once. A small cut of parsley often decorates a dish, artfully curled beside
the main ingredient or adding complementary colors to what would otherwise be a
bland-looking food presentation. Sometimes it is chopped and shredded ever so
finely to add flavor to soups and sauces.
Culinary uses for
parsley are plenty. And
if one tries to dig any
deeper into parsley-
flavored stories, then
other kinds of uses
could bring surprise to
an unsuspecting seeker.
In ancient Greek
times parsley has been
believed to be an effective cure for may ailments including poisoning, rheumatism
and even kidney stones. If one will look into folk-based beliefs, parsley is said to
provoke lust when eaten. And the common usage of parsley as a garnish on dishes
could very well come from the old habit of placing the herb on plates of food for
protection. The Romans would tuck a small sprig of parsley in their togas every
morning for the same reason.
On a more modern note, a tea made from parsley leaves is said to have health
benefits such as aiding digestion and flushing excess toxins from the body. Do
consult a doctor first if one wishes to explore the potential health benefits of herbal
teas like parsley. Pregnant women are not advised to take in too much of the herb.
But for purely culinary purposes, having parsley around and handy in the
kitchen can be delightful. Growing one's own will certainly bring benefits in the
Be warned, however, that patience is a required virtue if trying to grow
parsley from seed. Planting parsley in phase with the moon can help work with
this slow germinating plant. That is, its seed does not sprout easily. It can take as
much as six weeks, probably causing undue worry to a first-time gardener. Aside
from the fact that it does take time, it is actually not difficult to grow once settled.
When planting parsley in phase with the moon there are basic things to
understand. The time when the moon is waxing, or growing, is the best time to
sow leafy plants that grow above the ground. So basically these are plants such as
celery, grains, lettuce and of course, parsley. The growing phase of the moon adds
its gravitational effect to help pull the plant out to sprout, just as it pulls the tides
of the sea.
Before actual planting, many have recommended soaking the seeds in warm
water overnight to start softening it up for growth. Then of course planting parsley
in phase with the moon should further help it overcome its shyness from breaking
out of seed. One can also opt to buy seedlings. When planting seedlings though,
one must not disturb the roots as much as possible because parsley is very
sensitive about being transplanted.
Once the trouble of settling in is over for the parsley, it should yield its
fragrant and flavorful bounty in due time. When grown, it is advisable to harvest
parsley when the temperature is cool, like early in the morning, so that the leaf
will prolong its freshness and not wither too easily in the heat of the sun.
Patience for growing parsley can pay off in so many ways in the kitchen. Just
give it time, and the right phase of the moon.
- Growing Endive by the Phases of the Moon
- Organic Gardening by the Phases of the Moon
- Planting Parsley in Phase with the Moon