Fennel can be grown in vegetable and herb form, both of which are bursting with a gorgeously unique flavour. Here at The Farm we grow the vegetable variety, Florence Fennel, which has a large bulbous stem, perfect for use in a number of dishes.The Fennel Countdown
Our 3,000 Fennel plants are sown monthly from April through to July. They are then planted into the ground from May onwards, once the soil has warmed up. They’re ready for picking and popping into Veg Boxes from June to mid-September. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the warmer weather we’ve been having will give us a good late summer crop, as our early crop has suffered somewhat following the unseasonably cool Spring.
Fennel is originally a marshland plant, and so thrives in warm, moist conditions. We have rich, organic soil here at The Farm, but it is sandy and free-draining, which means our Field Team has to work hard to keep the crop well-irrigated. Fussy fennel is also intolerant to weeds and root disturbance, so we plant it by hand through a bio-mulch to limit any competition from weeds and, therefore, the need for hoeing.
A matter of taste
Fennel sure packs a punch, but its strong aniseed flavour can divide opinion. If you’re already a Fennel fan, why not try it raw, sliced into a salad with some fresh orange? If you’re still on the fence, take a tip from our Head Grower, John English, who softens the flavour by steaming it in a parcel with butter and a splash of dry vermouth – let us know what you think!