Well, F is for fennel really. I just thought it would be appropriate to mention Fred since he was the fennel fiend… He once jumped onto the veg bed with corn and courgettes growing and ate all the fennel seedlings growing in the spaces in between! We all love fennel. Mummy does too so we usually only get the bits she’s not going to eat. She grows it in the garden which is how we know about Fred’s fiendishness. Take a look at him stretching over the lettuce to get to it!
We like its feathery leaves and the stalks as well. In the autumn it is supposed to make the white bulbs at the base of its stem, which are really just overlapping stem bases, not bulbs at all. It has a big tap root below the surface, that’s its root. We have tried that in the past but it wasn’t very edible. Mummy keeps trying to grow it so it makes nice fat bulbs and keeps getting lovely feathery growth and a little bit of overlapping stem. She sometimes uses them anyway, but if she doesn’t it just means all the more for us and she has to wait till Uncle Shaun has it in his shop.
So we can eat fennel most of the year really, as Mummy starts growing it in April. That starts producing leaves in May. Then she puts more in the ground in July to make bulbs, but as it doesn’t we eat the leaves and stems through to Christmas if it’s not too snowy and she’s covered it up from the frosts. And then she gets it from Uncle Shaun and we get any leaves left on the top and the outermost layer of bulb-stem if we’re lucky.
I’ve been talking about bulb fennel or florence fennel here. We also like the leaves of herb fennel too. It doesn’t make a bulb though.
They both taste delicious!
Don’t forget to get the first book in the series The Princelings of the East for 99c. Fred is the Princelings of the East (along with George). There’s a reminder at the side with the coupon code.