Thursday, October 11, 2012

Growing Belgian Endive

I am halfway into my experiment with Belgian Endive, because today I dug up the roots that grew all summer in the garden. The summer greens are edible, but quite bitter except the very tiny, baby leaves, so none were harvested. 

Some of the roots grew long and very fat, and a few grew long and skinny, and a couple grew gnarled. Of course, I broke several of the roots off at the tips because I didn't dig deep enough. (I only dug as deep as my shovel would go.) I doubt it will matter, but it will be interesting to see what kind of buds each type of root produces this winter, or if it even makes any difference.

I trimmed the tops to about an inch long, depositing the tops for composting, and then trimmed the tops again down to about 1/4 inch before putting them in a bucket for cool, dark storage.

I didn't have any sand, which is recommended for the root storage, so I used a left-over bag of potting soil to support the roots in the bucket. The potting soil had become very moist from sitting on the ground (probably had a hole in it somewhere) and I hope the roots do not rot before I am ready to expose them to light, some in January and some in February.

Once the roots are exposed to light (and some warmth), it takes about 3 weeks for them to grow the pale white and yellow-tipped torpedos we find at the grocers (at exorbitant prices).

The growth over the last 6-7 weeks was hearty, and I'm sorry I didn't take a photo today before I started digging them. The photo above was taken in late August, artichokes on the left and Belgian endive on the right. I didn't plant many as this was a trial run.

1 comment:

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