Florence Fennel

Grew it. Ate it. We all ate it.


I sowed some florence fennel seed last year - I can't find a record of when but I know that there were no signs of germination for so long that I gave up and planted something else. Obviously not right on top though because a few months ago I noticed some feathery smelly stuff and thought it was dill from the beneficial insect blend sowing. I don't have much experience with dill or fennel so I'm easily confused with these plants.

I've wondered a few times about it being fennel and consulted a few books and still not been sure. But the August 09 issue of the NZ Gardener had a photo which looked exactly like mine. So I harvested it and cooked it with garlic and onions and anchovies and grated beetroot and then some kale and then mixed in lots of sour cream and made pink sauce. Which when put together with the rye pasta (I can't tell you that rye pasta is better than wheat, only that on the food ordering day rye seemed like a great idea) which is brown, makes for a very new age hippy bean sprouting looking type of meal. Naughty us that we contributed to the death of our ocean friends and the rise of landfill and no doubt a thousand other evils by having tinned salmon with it.

I've only eaten florence fennel one other time. That was in a soup made by my gardening guru friend Marie who had also grown the florence fennel herself.

So now I'm ready to have another go, as the NZ Gardener says now is a good time to sow it. I still have some seed. The New Zealand Companion planting book, which I have out of the library for the seventh time at the moment, says never near wormwood and also not near peas and beans and strawberries. Somewhere else I read it likes to be by itself. I'll find a spot tomorrow - somewhere.


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