We couldn’t decide between the two, and grew two kinds of fennel this year — Finale and Perfection. Out of laziness, we’d left the roots in the ground after harvesting. To our surprise they gave us a second crop, each root producing two to three more fennel bulbs.
We are letting them go to seed and had planned to collect the fennel seeds for later use, but they may not make it that far.
At Jean’s suggestion, we tasted the flower heads and found them packed with fennel flavor. I’ve cooked with fennel pollen before, but hadn’t realized we had our own source in the garden. As it turns out, the flowers can be used fresh or dried, and as a garnish or for seasoning.
I’m so glad you found my blog and left a couple of comments otherwise I probably wouldn’t have found your blog. It seems that we have a lot in common when it comes to veggies and food. It’s going to be fun to watch your garden and see what’s cooking. Do let some of the fennel set seeds and try them while they are still green and tender – yum!
Hi Michelle, thanks so much for stopping by! I’m looking forward to reading your blog more thoroughly, there’s clearly a lot there to learn from regardless of the difference in zones. I’m never sure which part of the plant is edible and when. Rhubarb for example — the stalks are edible but the leaves are toxic. Do you have a favorite source for this kind of information? In the meantime, we’ll make sure to try the fennel seeds while green, unless the frost gets it first!
I have never been a big fan of the flavor of fennel but it sure is a pretty plant in the garden. Don’t you love it when plants give you a surprise second harvest?! I tend to cut my celery right at the base and often end up with another complete plant ultimately.
Especially if the second harvest is a result of benign neglect! Thanks for the great tip about celery, I’ll be on the look out for more things that are cut-and-come-again. It’s a challenge to grow it here, and have found that cutting celery (different than lovage) a great addition to the herb garden.
Isn’t that interesting – about the fennel I mean. Its actually regarded as a weed in Australia (although it is also grown as a food crop) and perhaps this is why……
Probably so, Liz! It’s a biennial, and we were wondering if the unstable weather we’ve been having tricked it into thinking it’s spring again.