Real World Gardener Spice It Up with Fennel

February 14th, 2015

 REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Ian Hemphill from


Fennel has its origins in the Mediterranean but today it's often thought of as a weed.

Fennel is sometimes sold as "Aniseed Plant," which although it has a faint aroma of aniseed because it contains anethole, it's not aniseed.


Did you know that Fennel seeds were used by Romans as far back as 750 AD?

Fennel Seeds

Remember, a spice comes from the seeds and the herb from the leaves.

Also in this case, you can buy Fennel Pollen which is the fennel flowers with the pollen.

The flavour is delicate but with a distinct fennel aroma. Chefs sprinkle it on desserts.


You can grow Florence fennel at this time of year in pretty much all of Australia. February and March seem to be the best time.

This veggie has a pale whitish green bulb with that has small shoots topped with ferny leaves.

The bulb can be used in lasagne,  shaved into salads in stir fries and has a pleasant aniseedy taste-not overpowering at all.

Florence Fennel bulbs

The leaves of course can be used as a garnish in lots of things as well.

Plants grow to about 60cm and need plenty of water and nutrients to stop them from going to seed.

If you want the seed, best buy it from a reputable source like Herbies Spices, so you know it doesn't contain rat droppings.

If you have any questions about growing fennel or a photo of your veggie bed, send it in to or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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