Tuesday June 27, 2017

Fennel - The Misunderstood Vegetable

Written by David Marler
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Fennel - The Misunderstood Vegetable  

Project Fennel:Pot to Pot


It began with a tweet.

ABC 612 Brisbane's Spencer Howson declared his love for the licorice tasting vegetable, fennel.

A few more people added their adoration with one of my twitter friends declaring it the 'misunderstood vegetable'.

So what is it and what can you do with this vegetable?

Why is it so misunderstood?

Let's get this one out of the way first. Licorice is not made from fennel but from the root of another plant called, Glycyrrhiza glabra.

Fennel belongs to a separate plant family called apiaceae. Its cousin plants are anise and star anise.

It is used both culinary and for medicinal purposes.
   Fennel The Misunderstood Spencer Howson

Together with anise, it is one of the major ingredients in the alcoholic beverage, absinthe.

14% of the fennel bulb is comprised of Vitamin C.

Fennel contains a compound called anethole which is an active ingredient in treating flatulence in humans and animals. (You have been warned.)

Let's start with a few seeds in a flower pot and see if we can grow them over the next few months and document their pathway to the cooking pot; pot to pot.

Fennel is normally sown in Spring. As it's mid-winter here in Brisbane, we'll make use of our hot house to germinate the seeds and keep the plants warm.
Fennel The Misunderstood - Seeds   Fennel - The Misunderstood - Hot House 

Update 26 July 2013

The first seeds we sowed did not spring.

A second attempt in another pot also resulted in no result.

It was time to buy a new packet of seeds and try a third pot.

Today, the first of these emerged.

First rule of horticulture; never give up.
  Fennel: The Misunderstood - Sprung
We have fronds!

Our fennel has been moved from the hot house to the real world.

Still a little cool in Brisbane, I've chosen the most sunny spot.
 Fennel The Misunderstood 3
High Spring temperatures are now in effect in Brisbane.  Fennel is doing well but must be kept well watered in these unseasonable conditions. FennelTheMisunderstoodHotHouse4
Taking shape. Fennel The Misunderstood
Starting to get that traditional fennel shape now. Fennel The Misunderstood
Lower base of plant begins to bulge outward rapidly. Fennel The Misunderstood 22 Dec 2013
Flowering outward. 31 Jan 2014 - Fennel The Misunderstood
Finished product fresh out of the ground.  6 April 2014 Fennel The Misunderstood
More fennel grows on. 6 April 2014 - Fennel The Misunderstood

Contributions welcome. Recipies, growing tips, etc.

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