Growing old gracefully

Our fennel, that is full of feathery fronds, decided not to develop a bulb this year but to go to seed! A disappointment after hours watching over its infancy, weeding out bad influences in its adolescence and keeping it content… until its midlife crises led it astray! There are two kinds of fennel, florence fennel is suppose to form a bulb.. and ours didn’t. The Greek name for “fennel” is “marathon” which is a field where a famous battle took place and Pheidippides ran till he dropped dead to carry the news to the next city.

All is not lost for us since fennel fronds are also edible; they give a hint of licorice. Experiment by adding them to salads, try a fennel pesto, add stalks and fronds to seafood especially salmon, juice them, freeze them for a later use in stock, or substitute fennel in place of dill for a different take such as with new potatoes.

There will be several fennel recipe samples to try in Wednesday’s market. We have a hedge of them so think creatively!

I’ve been pondering how to grow up – not to go to seed before my time. In my elder years I want to talk about future dreams and aspirations with those around me, not be repeating dusty stories from my ancient past. I want to use a walker in order to “pick up my heels” around the track while out walking my own marathon. Yes, and I want to remain a positive, flavorful addition to all gatherings.

Market boxes should be filled with: beets, fennel fronds, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, Swiss chard, kale, cabbage and herbs. In addition, raspberries, beans, broccoli, carrots, new pickles and jams, bread and aprons will be for sale.

Enjoy the flavor of local goodness – whooeee! We sure are!