Whenever I read about somebody growing something different (especially to eat) I get a bit excited.

Actually excited, is probably too strong a word and makes me seem a bit odd. Curious is probably a better word. No, not strong enough. Actively curious? No, that’s no good – it makes me sound like a category in some kind of psychometric test, or pollster’s demographic.

Anyway, I hope you get my drift, so I’ll get to the point.

I was reading in a book, some old boy talking about one of his fellow allotment plot holders, who was Asian, growing a plant called Mehti, for the edible leaves. I immediately looked this up and found that the crop concerned is best known in the UK as fenugreek. “Oh I know fenugreek,” I said to myself, “I must try it” and made a mental note to get some.

So, earlier this week, when I saw a large packet of seed marked down to 50p I picked it up as a bargain.

The thing is that the packet was for ‘sprouting seeds’ which meant that there were no instructions on how to grow the things in soil. At this point it dawned on me that my comment “I know fenugreek” was actually a load of rubbish and that I knew just one thing about fenugreek – it’s a herb. Or a spice. In fact I don’t know anything about it. 

So I looked it up in my herb books and found . . . that it was popular for ‘sprouting seeds’. And no more.

Then I consulted some wider-ranging books about growing. And found . . . . more on ‘sprouting seeds’.

More scholarly tomes told me that it was ‘popular for ‘sprouting seeds’

I was still at a loss as how to cultivate it, and whilst of course there are general principles that apply to any seeds in terms of planting depth etc, I wanted to be sure that there weren’t any specific requirements that would make the difference between success and failure.

I asked a colleague who knew what it was and was able to give me some advice on cooking with it, but she’d never grown it.

So I’m just going to have to suck it and see. Or should that be chuck it and seed?

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