How to Harvest Fennel Seeds

Updated February 21, 2017

Fennel is an herb widely used throughout the world in many culinary traditions. There is a culinary use for every part of the fennel plant from the tender leaves to the delicate pollen. Fennel seeds have a particularly strong sweet flavour that resembles anise. Brew the seeds into a soothing fennel tea or add the crushed seeds to salad dressings, breads, desserts and savoury sausages. Collecting fennel seeds is easy and the rewards are delicious.

Harvest fennel seeds in late summer when they ripen on the stalks. Observe the seeds as they ripen. When they turn from green to brown, harvest immediately. Fennel seeds left on the stalks too long will be scattered by the wind.

Carefully clip the fennel seed head from the stalk, careful to not shake off the seeds. Place the entire seed head into a paper bag.

Hold the seed head upside down over a large bowl and work the seeds free with your finger tips. Pick out stray plant material that makes its way into the bowl.

Lay the seeds out on a drying screen in a dry area for two to three days to dry completely.

Place the seeds in a glass jar and fit with an airtight lid. Label the jar of fennel seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers
  • Paper bag
  • Bowl
  • Drying screen
  • Glass jar with airtight lid
  • Label
  • Pen
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About the Author

Eulalia Palomo has been a professional writer since 2009. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University. She travels widely and has spent over six years living abroad.