What I didn’t know about fennel…

Over the last 6 months or so, I have been enamored with fennel. I’ve sautéed it, I’ve candied it, I’ve made it into jam, I have pie plans for it over the holidays and this spring, for the first time, I planted it. I went to North Haven Gardens and bought two 4-inch pots of fennel, one a sweet fennel with the signature bright green fringe and a second variety with dark purply-brown fringe. Not knowing anything about this strange vegetable, I planted the whole pot together and waited to see what would happen. It grew fast and strong. Soon, I was able to see where the bulbs were developing, but I noticed that there was going to be a problem… they were very close together and would quickly become unbearably crowded. When all else fails, read the directions. I googled and got a great video for how to plant fennel. It turns out that you have to separate those lovely seedling that come in the one pot. It had been a month since I planted them all together, but I went ahead and dug them up, separated them and replanted. You might note that fennel bulbs are $3-$4 each at the grocer, and I paid $1.49 each for my two seedling pots at the nursery. Out of those two pots, I got 17 separate plants! If they all live, that’s up to $68 worth for fennel for a $3 investment! How’s that for an astonishing ROI? I’m thinking about becoming a fennel farmer…
 

Bright green fennel

Bright green fennel

Purply-brown fennel

Purply-brown fennel

 


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