Today, 1/27/17, we started the Belgian endive roots in crates. We hope to have delicious chicons for our subscribers in three weeks. Belgian endive culture is a long haul, however. It started last June, when we seeded 2 beds of the tiny seed. In October, we dug up the large roots with their dandelion-like greens attached:
We laid the roots out on tables, cut off the greens (which went to the chickens), and left the roots to dry a bit.
The dry roots went into crates in the cooler to store over winter. Today they came out and were packed into crates filled halfway with potting soil.
The crates went into the pump room, an insulated dark shed that we can keep at 60 degrees. We will water the roots and keep them in the dark. The aim is to produce delicious, blanched heads of endive (known as chicons in French) for February baskets. It’s a long process that isn’t always sucessful. Here are some Belgian endive we grew last year: