Val’s garden had an amazing year. Her veggies were bursting at the seams and the herbs and flowers have grown really tall. This year not only did she have her Echinacea, she also had the Calendula. The other plant she decided to give a go was Fennel .
Val’s Fennel grew to about 2 1/2 feet tall and grew to be a really full plant. We decided that we would do some harvesting this weekend as the weather is starting to turn a little colder and the plants are turning to seed. The Fennel is the one we were most excited to try. Both of us love Fennel in salads and Val had found this great recipe to try. We were ready for a super fresh Fennel and Blood Orange salad.
The plants were huge! We set out to dig out the bulb that we would use for the salad. And…this is what we got…
What the…? This didn’t look like a Fennel bulb. It smelled like Fennel. The greenery was Fennel. We tried to hypothesize why the bulb didn’t end up looking this but we just figured it was the soil or placement of the plant. We did attempt to ‘harvest’ what may be a bulb but we ended up with a collection of roots that were completely inedible!
Yeh…sometimes things just don’t turn out like you hoped they would. So when this happens there is one thing to do. Make a drink!
These were so good I thought I would share them too! Gin with pomegranate juice and lemon slice. Delish! It certainly took our mind off the epic salad failure!
Val figured out later that the Fennel was the herb Fennel and not the Florence Fennel that is used in salads. We had a good laugh with our drink.
I left with a good bounty of cherry tomatoes and kale. Val loaded me up with some Fennel, Tarragon, and Mint to take home, which I will dry and use throughout the year. Some of the mint is in my water jug and some Tarragon is infusing some olive oil. I was able to pick some Calendula and Fennel seeds to dry as well.
Val had a bumper crop this year due to some timely watering and some organic compost. The hot summer we had certainly helped to extend this season as well.
Val has one more flower to share with you this week that she grew this year. Her Chamomile plants bloomed beautifully this summer and she is ready for the upcoming winter with some great ways to use it. Stay tuned for our next post on Chamomile.
I have to share this one last photo of one of Val’s cats, Hope and her squirrel friend. Too cute!