Fennel

(Foeniculum vulgare) Fennel is a perennial member of the apiaceae, or carrot, family that is grown as an annual in most climates. This cool season crop has a long and varied history of use. Highly aromatic and flavorful, fennel has been used as a food, medicine and even as an insect repellant. Fennel is wildly attractive to beneficial insects. It also makes a decorative addition to landscapes, can be enjoyed in flower arrangements, and some butterfly species like it, too. Plants prefer full sun and seeds should be planted as soon as soil warms in the spring. Give yourself a head start on germination by soaking the seeds overnight. Direct sow in mid-spring in rich soil, barely covering seeds. Ideal germination temperature is 65-70F. Keep the soil uniformly moist throughout the life of the crop. Harvest the fleshy "bulb" at the base of the plant. Fennel stalks, fronds, flowers, pollen and seeds are also edible.

COOK IT! Fennel Recipes HERE

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