I’m pretty excited about the Florence fennel I grew this year. I’ve been experimenting with growing it for a couple of years, and this year I think I’ve got it figured out. I started the seed indoors back in March, and transplanted the seedlings into the garden in May. I also dug quite a bit of compost into the soil, as fennel is a heavy feeder. The plants have had a couple of brushes with storms and high winds, which resulted in some strange twisty looking fronds, but overall I’m very happy with the results. You probably don’t remember the scrawny little plants I showed you last fall. Pretty pathetic, huh?
So, you should understand why I’m quite pleased to show you the first bulb I cut this afternoon. I figured I should get my hand in the shot for the sake of scale. Not bad for Hoosier grown fennel, if you ask me. Hey man! Someone’s gotta toot my horn!
You ask, how do you use fennel? Well, to begin with, I use it in place of celery. Why? Celery is an evil, vile vegetable, and I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would eat it when fennel is so much more tasty! Also, my husband is allergic to celery. Here’s an Arugula Fennel Salad I made last summer, and Autumn Ham Soup with Pumpkin and Barley from last fall. Now that I’ve cut my first bulb, I just might have to work on a new salad combination. Stay tuned!