The unharvest


Fennel

I was flipping through the garden photos yesterday. (It’s good to look at greenery when you’ve been seeing a lot of white. Tom just said, as he is now going out for the daily plow, that I should start calling him Sisyphus. The stuff just keeps rolling in front of him.) I found this fennel, and it made me wonder: does anybody else NOT harvest things?

These fennel fronds were home to loads of swallowtail butterflies in our Minneapolis garden. I can’t say I saw any caterpillars here, but I did see a ton of other critters that enjoyed its seedheads. Plus, the things were just pretty: on the ferny side, and 3’+ tall… I did harvest a few young fronds for salads, but I just couldn’t bring myself to whack down a whole bulb.

So this season I am planting a lot more than just 4 plants. I do love fennel. Maybe this year I can eat it, too.

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5 responses to “The unharvest

  1. I love growing fennel, too, but we hardly end up eating any… pretty stuff, though.

    I wish we had Sisyphus-type snow… it turned to freezing rain at some point, and is this nasty, crusty, slushy stuff, almost a foot of it!

  2. There’s fennel in my garden, too – and we also took just some of the leaves but not the bulb – didn’t have the heart to evict the Swallowtail caterpillars.
    We started out with one plant, but allowed some to reseed.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. I left a lot of dill standing around because of the caterpillars. Dill reseeds rather prolifically doesn’t it? I suspect I’m gonna have a lot of dill. I’ve never grown fennel. It is pretty though.

  4. Meredith, you are going to have a LOT of dill. Which is a good thing. It can reseed itself 2x in a season…just don’t plant anything else with it, as it is a pain to weed out.

  5. I did the same with my fennel in years past, but after eating it in Italy this past fall I intend to grow at least some for eating this year. It was so good!

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