I always know spring is here when the fennel starts to come up in my urban garden. We have wild growing fennel tha t grows along our back gate here in Seattle – it is non-bulbing but provides us a lot delicious pollen for sprinkling and plenty of seeds to harvest every year! Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is indigenous to the Mediterranean but it thrives anywhere with fairly dry soil. Everything from the bulb to the pollen is staple ingredients in culinary traditions from Greece and India all the way to Northern Europe. It grows best in moderate to cool temperatures (60’s-70’s), which thankfully we get in abundance here in the Pacific Northwest. Fennel shares family ties with other classic aromatics such as carrots, celery and parsley. Of course it is also popularly known as one of the three main ingredients in absinthe!
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