Leek (Allium ampeloprasum L.)
It's time to take another stroll down Allium Alley. This a road well traveled for good reason. There are so many amazing plants in this genus, and each one has it's own amazing benefits.
On this occasion, we will be covering leeks, a thick, slow growing vegetable that have a widely varied use in cuisines the world over. In fact, this is another plant with a rich history dating back thousands of years. Grown and consumed by ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians as early as 2000 BC, they were also a main part of the Roman diet and were considered to be superior to the other members of the allium family.
Growing leeks is quite easy. They are grown from seed and require little attention once sowed. They can take up to 6 months to reach maturity, and most types will overwinter. That alone is priceless to the mountain gardener, as our growing seasons can be as little as 4 months...
Because they overwinter, leeks are amazing early spring vegetable. They will simply wait all winter long in the ground until you are ready to enjoy their oniony flavor.
Leeks are typically chopped into slices, or they can be eaten as young shoots as well. They are good raw in salads, boiled for soups, fried in stir fries and dishes with grains. There is obviously a wide range of dishes that leeks can be useful for. Really anything that can use an onion flavor, which is my mind is just about anything.
Due to their ease of growing, their versatility in cooking, their deer resistance and cold tolerance, leeks should be in garden of every High Altitude Homestead.
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