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I planted fennel this year for the first time and i think i grew too much.  i wanted some insight on how to dry it for tea, or to extract the essential oil. can the whole plant be dried. can the bulb be frozen. any advice would b greatly appreciated.

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Although I've never actually canned Fennel, I'm sure it can be canned.
You can collect the dried seeds for cooking or tea (many people even used to chew dried fennel seed as breath freshener). Beware though, if the seeds dry on the plant you may end up with even more fennel next  year, because that plant spreads voraciously! I've never done this with fennel but if you've got nice bulbs I bet you can try roasting them and storing them in oil in your fridge for a while.

Best for tea are the seeds, but they should come not from Florence or bronze fennel but from common fennel, the kind that grows as a weed in California and the Mediterranean region. The seeds will dry on the plant, but to keep them from dropping you may want to cut the stalks and hang them over a cloth before the seeds are dry. To make fennel tea, bruise the seeds before steeping them.

I haven't tried drying fennel leaves. Sarah Garland, in The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices, says that they're not suitable for drying but that the stems are. She says you can add the dried stems to winter dishes just as you might the seeds.

If I had Florence fennel go to seed, I'd save the seeds for planting the next year.

Canning it might turn it to mush. The best bet is to freeze it or dry it then store it in an airtight container.




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