Falling in Love with Leeks

We’re shifting more of our time, effort, and financial investment to perennials, and as part of that effort, the Farmer-in-Chief planted some perennial leeks last fall. So far, so good.


Not sure where the airborne visitor came from. I didn't notice him (her?) until I saw the blow-up of the photo hours after I took it.
Not sure where the airborne visitor came from. I didn’t notice him (her?) until I saw the blow-up of the photo hours after I took it.

Leeks are like a mild, sweet, almost creamy onion, except they are flavorful enough to hold their own. We really haven’t had much of a chance to enjoy them this year, though, because we’re intentionally letting our new leeks go to seed for next year rather than “cannibalizing” them for the supper table. And I must tell you, I just love the way leeks reproduce. Ours are forming flower pods now. We understand that this pod you see here will produce thousands ¬†of seeds, so we’re eager to see the tiny flowers do their work and drop all those seeds around them so they can be there for next year. At the same time, we’ll probably capture a pod or two and “harvest” the seeds so we can start them this fall and start giving them away to friends and family.

Leeks are nothing new. Archaeologists have found evidence of them in ancient Egypt, and indications are that they were a staple in Mesopotamia as long ago as the beginning of the second millennium BCE. And you can’t say much about leeks without getting rather quickly to their significance in Wales, sort of like, well, peaches in Georgia. It’s hard for us to imagine for such an utterly peaceful vegetable, but the leek is part of the military regalia for the Welsh Guard.

We’re also excited about the walking onions (another perennial) that Amanda planted next to the leeks. As the name implies, walking onions maintain their perennial status by sending out a shoot that “falls over” and lands on the ground, where it takes root and forms a new plant. We love this stuff.

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