Author Topic: The Bitter Fight to Save Belgian Endive from Extinction  (Read 929 times)

triffid

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Zone 9a - brown calcareous earth, high natural fertility base-rich loam - coastal maritime climate

Ferdzy

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Re: The Bitter Fight to Save Belgian Endive from Extinction
« Reply #1 on: 2021-02-05, 08:03:01 AM »
Thanks, very interesting article. It seems to me that I read somewhere that modern endive hybrids are often genetically modified for cytoplasmic male sterility, which strikes me as odd as they are a pretty niche crop anywhere but Belgium.

There is only one farm that I am aware of in Ontario growing them commercially, which is obviously a precarious situation here. But the reality is they are not that popular. I buy a certain number just because there are very few locally grown salad vegetables in the winter here, but I can't say I love them and Mr. Ferdzy is not a fan at all. And I think that's part of the problem. Strong tasting foods are losing popularity even as eaters of northern European extraction (much of North America in other words) are expanding their palates to other foods traditionally seen as "ethnic" and "spicy". It's a bit of a paradox, but I'd say it's the huge expansion of exposure and availability of previously foreign foods driving in one direction, and the commodification, homogenization, and industrialization of just about everything driving in the other direction.

https://seasonalontariofood.blogspot.com/2011/02/visit-to-janssens-farm.html 

Garrett Schantz

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Re: The Bitter Fight to Save Belgian Endive from Extinction
« Reply #2 on: 2021-02-05, 08:47:40 AM »
I have Witloof di Bruxxels seeds from Bakercreek - says sell by 2018 on the packet. Suppose I will grow it out this year for seed as I can't seem to find any other sources for it now.

lieven

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Re: The Bitter Fight to Save Belgian Endive from Extinction
« Reply #3 on: 2021-03-13, 01:23:43 PM »
There are at least two traditional witloof farmer's unions here in Belgium. One of the requirements is that the farmer saves his own OP seeds.
We happen to live near one of those farmers, and in the season, we often buy his witloof. It's sweeter than any other witloof we know, and Rudy (the farmer) told me that taste/sweetness is one of the features he selects for. There's no other place where you can get his witloof seeds.