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We're Digging It

  • June plant swap is Saturday
    “June Plant Swap” is 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St. Reservations are required by Thursday; 427-6000 or go to www.
  • Workshops focus on preserving produce
    FORT WAYNE – The Purdue Extension Service in Allen County is offering Preserving Nature’s Bounty workshops on safe home food preservation procedures and to answer frequently asked questions on canning, freezing
  • Master Gardener helpline available
    A free Master Gardener Volunteers Helpline is available through The Ohio State University Extension Office in Paulding, Ohio.
Cathie Rowand/ The Journal Gazette
Black swallowtail caterpillars eat parsley, dill, fennel and the green tops of carrots.

Use caution while cooking with parsley

While clipping parsley to put in a stir fry, I found a caterpillar. I knew that it was a butterfly of some sort, but had to study some images on the Internet. I thought it might be a tiger swallowtail because I have seen so many of these butterflies on the purple cone flowers and zinnias in my vegetable garden. It appears to be a black swallowtail caterpillar. Parsley is the host plant for the black swallowtail caterpillar.

I put the caterpillar in an aquarium with some fresh parsley and continued to wash the rest of the parsley for dinner when I found a second one. I am going to keep both and care for them until they become butterflies. Then I will let them go.

I want to watch them grow, turn into pupas and then butterflies. Last summer I was successful in raising monarchs. Black swallowtail caterpillars eat parsley, dill, fennel and the green tops of carrots. I have more than enough herbs to share.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer), Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer), Frank Noonan (copy editor) and Cathie Rowand (photographer)