Perennial grown as an annual with a licoricey taste. Tender stalks and leaves are good for relishes, salads and garden munchies; leaves and seeds excellent with fish. May also be grilled, sauteéd or steamed. Seeds used in sweets, baked goods & beverages. Aids digestion while reducing flatulence. Can soothe bronchial coughs.
Culture: Fennel prefers rich well-drained slightly limey soil. Direct seed in late April or early May. Do not allow to dry out. Adequate spacing to 8–12" apart is critical. Enjoy the tender juicy thinnings. If left overcrowded all varieties will bolt prematurely. Has potential as a fall crop hardy to under 20°. Sow in early summer to discourage bolting; keep soil surface moist.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neandertals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Herb culture: To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year.
Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica, and these become available in August or September.
Chervil and Parsley are listed with the Greens.
Takinagawa Burdock and Resina Calendula, as well as oats, mammoth red clover and alfalfa in the Farm Seed section, also have medicinal uses. Medicinal herbs such as black cohosh and goldenseal are available as plants, and shipped with Trees in the spring.