Leeks are an ancient vegetable that seems to have originated in Mesopotamia. It has been found as dried, physical specimens in Egyptian archeological digs as well as documented in drawing and carvings. It is also said to have been a favorite of the Roman Emperor, Nero and it is presumed to have been dispersed throughout the Roman empire, probably explaining how it came to the British Isles.
Related to onions, chives and garlic, rather than forming bulbs or cloves, leek plants produce a long cylinder of tightly bundles leaf sheaths that are ideally blanched white by mounding soil around them as they grow. These tender, white bases, firm and crunchy when raw, are the part of the plant that are used in recipes.
Leeks impart a mild, onion-like flavor to dishes. All parts of the plant can be used but the oldest, darkest green colored portions are typically discarded as they are often tough and fibrous.
Each packet contains one gram, which is approximately 150 to 200 seeds.
Planting Instructions: Surface sow seeds on fresh seed starting mix three to four weeks before transplanting into the garden. Time your sowing so that you can get the seedlings planted early (a few weeks before your last spring frost) as leeks require a very long season.
Seedlings are transplanted into trenches and require that you continue to mulch or hill soil up around the plants as they grow. You can begin to harvest as soon as they are ready in the early fall and into the winter. However, you should complete harvesting before hard freezes occur.
for a recipe for the Scottish National Soup, "Cock-A-Leekie" soup.