In the Garden

Oct 19, 2013

The End of the Broccoli

BroccoliYesterday (October 17)  I sliced off the last of our broccoli. ( Well, I left one new shoot to see what will happen.) 

In mid August I wrote the following; you can see this stuff has given us an enormous return.

Today I did my seventh pick of the broccoli. The first pick was of the main flower head, just like the ones you see in the vegie shop.  Instead of pulling out the plants, I simply sliced the flower head out and left the plant behind. We did the same with the cauliflower and the cabbages.

The results have been fascinating. The cauliflower has simply sat there for weeks. There has not been the ghost of a shoot anywhere.

The cabbages put up new shoots. They have been slow growers and not filled out in solid hearts, but we have used the small less dense regrowth in salad and chow mein. Today's little one will go into my lunches over the next two or three days.

The broccoli have been amazing. A couple have stayed bare of regrowth, but most of them have sent up more small flowers than we can eat—and I love the stuff.  These would be of no use to a market gardener because of their size, but the taste is just as good.  I am up to pick number seven!

I began by simply cutting off the little heads, but as the number of shoots has multiplied, I spend a few seconds pruning back the shoots to leave just a few, which seem to be larger as a consequences.

 The heads now seem to be a lot less dense.  I notice a broccolini had flowers open, so I think these original plants are at the end of their season.  Some later broccoli are still giving us tight heads.

I eat them raw with lunch, and we blanch the excess and freeze it. We drop them into  a stock pot of boiling water for a minute only, and then straight into a sink of cold water to chill them off.  When they are frozen I add them to the vegie steamer a minute or two before serving. We find them as good, and better, than frozen broccoli from the supermarket. The same process works for cauliflower.

 We watered this broccoli a few times in the beginning, but for most of June and July added no water at all. I don't think I have watered them since! The wet July, and the permaculture base of the garden, have done all the work for us.