Leek for beginners
Leek is an unusual onion, it does not have a bulb, the leaves are long and narrow, they look like garlic leaves, they form a white leg (false stalk) in the lower part, some varieties have a thickening of the leg, similar to an onion, many varieties of leeks do not irritate eyes. Leeks have the unique feature of storing vitamins during storage, while other vegetables lose their vitamins.
Leek, or pearl onions (Allium porrum) - biennial herb; species of the genus Onion (Allium) subfamilies Onion (Alliaceae).
The homeland of leeks is Asia Minor, from where leeks came to the Mediterranean, on the territory of which its wild-growing initial form - grape onions - is still foundAllium ampeloprasum).
As a cultural species, leek appeared a long time ago, even in ancient Egypt, it was already one of the most important vegetable plants. Leek was also known in ancient Greece, and in the Middle Ages it was cultivated throughout Europe.
The agricultural technology of leeks is simple, but in many ways differs from the cultivation of other types of onions. Leek is grown in seedlings, the seeds are sown in late February, in ordinary garden land. They are planted in open ground in May, in beds prepared since autumn, high along the edges, low in the middle.
Leek is photophilous, requires fertile, rich in organic soil and abundant watering. In the first half of summer, leeks are fed 2-3 times with mineral fertilizers, such as “Vegetable mix”, “Kemira universal”, etc. In the second half of summer, plants need to be spudded several times to form a white leg.
It is possible to eat food when 5-6 leaves grow in leeks, the main crop is harvested in autumn as late as possible, it can be left to winter and harvested in spring.
The use of leek and its beneficial properties
Even the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans ate leeks. Among the Romans, it was considered the food of the rich. In the Middle Ages, leek was also very popular. Today, in terms of popularity, leek is second only to garlic and onions. The thickened base of the leaves, forming a thick false stem, is eaten.
In cooking, leek is used as a regular onion, but less spicy in taste. Interestingly, when storing, freezing and preserving the leek retains most of its beneficial properties.
The therapeutic effect of leek was known in the distant past. It was recommended for use by patients with gout, rheumatism, scurvy, with urolithiasis and obesity, mental and physical overwork.
Due to the large number of potassium salts, the leek exhibits a pronounced diuretic effect, is useful in obesity, rheumatism, and gout. In clinical studies, it has been shown that leek enhances the secretory function of the glands of the digestive tract, improves liver activity, increases appetite, and has anti-sclerotic properties.
Contraindications: raw leek is contraindicated in inflammatory diseases of the stomach and duodenum.