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Leek Whitening Strategy

Leek Whitening Strategy
Using newsprint that new china was delivered in to wrap the leeks. Cotton string to tie them and secure them to the hoop.
Experimenting with different strategies, toilet paper, paper towel and newsprint wraps.
A detail view of the leek white expanding up.

I needed a new leek whitening strategy at Mezzacello, well a strategy anyway. I have been growing leeks successfully here for five years. In all that time, I never knew I was not giving Richard what he wanted most: white leeks.

White Leek Body

I always thought Rick just wanted the leek root and the green leaves. I was always cross when he would bring leeks home from the store. I would point out that we had plenty of leeks out in the garden (and in the roof).

In all that time, not until just recently did I understand that it is the white of the leek that carries all the flavor. The leaves can be used to flavor stocks, but not eaten. It is the tender white body that is the goal here.

Setting Up a New Bed

So I set up a new bed and transplanted leeks. Then I set up hooped arches from Pex tubing to secure the plants to. I went about covering the bottom of the plants to block the sun and bleach the leeks.

I will experiment with this strategy right into winter. I fully anticipate that UV and water erosion will destroy the wraps. That’s fine, it’s all paper and cotton carbon anyway.

Already I can see the rolls beginning to lose their structure and uncurling. I will tie them together to expand their utility. I wanted to experiment with rolls and with paper to see which does better.

I hope I am able to grow the fine strong white leeks that Rick loves. I cannot mound earth up like they do in France to get the whites to expand, so I will try this strategy for a season.

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