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Fennel Seed Harvesting


Fennel Seed Harvesting

March 13, 2013

To be filed under, “Am I really that thick”.

It’s not ground breaking but when a bunch of decorative fennel that I had hung upside down on the front door began dropping seeds, I was in awe. The fennel had been there since November replete with flowering heads and had provided a lovely smell of anise whenever the door was opened. January had rolled around and I had meant to take it down. That was when I noticed the fennel seeds – it was like discovering gold. Here’s how to harvest them properly.

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Above: Stalks of fennel with dried out flowers. For optimum freshness the seeds should be harvested just as the flowers are beginning to dry out and turn brown..

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Above: Clip the top of the stalks with the flower heads and place them on a tray in a dark place to dry. This usually takes one or two weeks.

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Above: The seeds will dry and drop off the flowers. For those remaining, rub the flower heads over a bowl until the seeds fall out. Remove any stalks from the bowl and transfer the seeds into small jars leaving any powder and dust in the bottom of the bowl.

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Above: I stripped the stalks of any branches and flowers and left them to dry out. Once fully hardened I plan to use them as sticks in the garden for supporting plants.

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