It happens to me every time I pick something fresh to eat, straight from the rich earth: I fall in love with the whole process all over again. Whether it’s my garden, my neighbor’s fruit tree, wild mushrooms from the woods, or berries from an orchard, it’s this sense of complete wonder and fulfillment. Call it cheesy, call it hippie, call it tree-hugging, I don’t care. There’s just something unexplainably wonderful about it.
Today it was fennel, and now that’s all I want: fennel on my eggs, in my sausage, on my tomatoes.
I pulled the plants, and everything from stem to seed is cleaned and drying. I plunge my seed heads into boiling water for just a moment to make sure there will be no little bugs eating them before I do:
The green bits and flowers are cleaned and dehydrated for powdering. Ever had fennel flowers or pollen? Just amazing. The aroma when I harvested was so strong that my neighbor, on her morning walk, asked if that sweet, beautiful smell was my morning glories. She’s never used fennel, but I may have made a convert!
This heralds the start of the real work, and the real joy. Part of the joy is that there’s no waste when we grow our own food. I trimmed the greens, saved the seeds, and the pulled the roots to compost, which made room for the carrots we’ll be seeding shortly.
How is your garden growing?