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Artichoke Cynara scolymus Serridslevgaard

Now it is finally thaw. The snow has melted for two days, giving me an opportunity to look for some of the plants in the garden.
Have they survived the frost? In January and February, I have been quite calm. It is usually the sun in March, which burns my plants to death when the evergreen stands with frozen roots. These day I keep an eye on where the sun hits evergreens. Are there any plants to shade from the sun through the month of March?

Artichoke Serridslevgaard looks fine inside its little tunnel. But has the heart been damaged by frost, I shall not see it until later, when the leaves rot from the bottom. However, I have no reason to be pessimistic. The snow has lain in 2 ½ months, but it has not been extremely cold and the snow has isolated, so the ground has probably not been colder than in average winters.

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Chusan palm Trachycarpus fortunei

The Chusan palm does not look good. Again this year, much of the foliage from last summer is damaged. I’ve got a sensitive individual? As long as the heart survives, the entire palm will survive.

Chusan Palm in Snow
Same Chusan palm Trachycarpus fortunei one month ago

Note that the snow has covered the palm hearts. The heart is the point at the top of the stem from where the leaves extends.

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Kale Brassica napus Red Russian

My Red Russian kale has just today poked head up through the snow. It is a long time since I saw it last. It looks a bit weathered, but if I will not harvest more leaves from it, I’ll still get some tasty flowers shoots. Flower shoots I enjoy, for me it is the main reason to grow a little cabbage in my small garden. They come early, before there is much else to pick the garden. They can be prepared quickly in a little oil in a frying pan and taste fantastic. My favourite is stir fried with scallops and baby bulbs of bronze fennel.

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Bronze fennel Foeniculum vulgare

Bronze Fennel has grown below the snow. If we get a couple of weeks plus degrees, I’ll start to picking some of the baby fennel bulbs. Taste of individual bronze fennel plant vary. The plant in the picture is my favourite, it tastes sweeter than the other bronze fennels I have.

In the calendar, winter says goodbye – but meteorologists promises more snow in the coming week!

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Bronze Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare

Bronze fennel is easy to cultivate, it is perennial and hardy. I guess most people just enjoy the beautiful view of this plant, but I also enjoy the delicious taste. At the same time I thin out the number of shoots, to get a more pretty plant the following summer. I use it either raw or lightly steamed/fried, just as bulb fennel is used in the kitchen.
Last year I made scallops with kaleflowers and bronze fennel

Normally you buy seeds of bronze fennel and then sow them directly in the garden. Take notice of taste and color as the vary a bit, and select the best plants. I have a single plant with a superior taste that I’m giving special attention. When bronze fennel is established in the garden, it starts to spread seeds, but in my garden it is far from a problem.

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The main ingredients

Kale flowerspikes stirfried with fennelshoots and scallops taste wonderfull. It includes a shallot and a garlic. First sautee the shallot and garlic in oliveoil, add the kale flowerspikes, next scallops and then fennel. It’s very quick to prepare, as shoots and flowerspikes are very tender. Add salt, pepper, lemonjuice and applecider vinegar to taste. Serve with bread.

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Stirfried Red Russian with scallops

Kale flowerspikes comes from ‘Red Russian’, fennelshoots are from the perennial bronzefennel, shallot is the danish heirloom “Kartoffelløg fra Læsø” and garlic is ‘Polish hardneck’, but other varieties will be good as well. Applecider vinegar I made some years ago by natural fermenting apples from the garden, added herbs and left it to mature in the refridgerator.

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