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Broccoli

broccoli

My glut crop at the moment is broccoli. I was a bit late planting it this year, so the first round of the big major heads are all coming together now.  Usually it’s a few weeks earlier.  I don’t usually plant broccoli until the threat of cabbage moth decimation is over – seeds in in mid autumn, transplanted into pots in late autumn, then keep an eye on them in the shadehouse for a month or so until the cabbage moths have really gone in early winter.  Even if it was worth the effort of trying to plant earlier and battle the cabbage moths, I know that four months of broccoli glut from late July through to November will be quite enough thank you without trying to extend the season.

The heads are the unopened, immature flower head and the plant will keep trying to flower and set seed till its last breath now. After I cut the main heads, they will bear side shoots for several months if I keep cutting them and prevent them flowering.  The next round of main heads will come on and there will be broccoli at every meal. If they do flower, the flowers are gorgeous in salads – sweet and mustardy and adding a lovely splash of colour.  But for the moment, the mission is keeping up with the broccoli.  Cheesy broccoli omelettes for breakfast (my geriatric chooks only lay for a few months of the year, but they’ve decided it’s near enough to spring to start too), and broccoli with hollandaise for dinner.  Raw broccoli in salads and lightly steamed broccoli with sesame oil, lemon juice and toasted sesame seeds in the lunch box.  Broccoli in noodle stir fries, and in pasta. And a broccoli based party dish I’m perfecting.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Linda August 3, 2013, 9:12 pm

    We’re enjoying our broccoli too. I can’t wait till I know when to plant and how much. You seem to have such a good rhythm happening!

  • celia August 4, 2013, 5:32 am

    Our broccoli is in season too – we’re growing the Green Dragon variety which seems to like it here in our backyard. We eat ours in a variety of ways, but one favourite is in a well cooked down pasta sauce, seasoned with chilli and anchovies!

  • Lisa the Gourmet Wog August 4, 2013, 10:22 pm

    My broccoli plant is driving me a bit batty at the moment. It produces a main head and a day later it’s gone to flower and turned into broccolini!

  • kim August 6, 2013, 3:34 pm

    I have a question about broccoli , Linda. I can grow it well, and it looks really healthy . But I quite often just get a small head on the brocolli, not like the one in your photo. Then I keep harvesting the small shoots , so there is always plenty- but I wondered what I am doing wrong. The soil is from the chook pen and other compost and I don’t really add anything to it apart from lucerne hay. It doesn’t look under fed, the leaves are always bright and healthy.

  • Linda August 6, 2013, 7:47 pm

    Hi Kim, I can think of two possible explanations. My first best guess would be the variety. Some varieties are bred to bear earlier, smaller, longer. My second best guess would be timing. The plant is trying to get a flower head out as early as possible. If the days are long, and especially if the days are long but starting to shorten, the plant would try to get any seeds it can before the snow comes. If the days are short and lengthening, plant figures its best strategy is to get as many seeds as it can. Just guesses, but I can’t think of any other reason. Plants have amazingly sophisticated methods for discerning day length, and even more amazingly, whether they are increasing or decreasing.

  • Melanie-jade August 10, 2013, 11:15 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for a month or so now Linda. I find your recipes so exciting! I love the idea of making my own stir fry noodles, might make the kids more inclined to eat them! I like coming over to your blog and finding good solid recipes for similar vegetables that I have growing in my garden. I really want to try making your kangaroo rolls wrapped in kale leaves this week, I’ve got a bumper crop coming. Thanks for injecting some new enthusiasm into my cooking!

  • Linda August 10, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Hi Melanie-jade. I’m glad you are liking them. The kangaroo kale rolls are a hit in this household. I have a kangaroo lasagna with kale in it too, that I should post soon.

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