Sunday, 27 March 2011

Broccoli bonanza!

Our broccoli was a great success this summer.  Just look at this:

I took this photo in January.

That head weighed in at 1.3 kilos!

Thinking that the plant was spent once I'd cut this wonderful head I pulled out the remainder of the plant and discarded it.  A friend later pointed out to me that the stalk is also good to eat, either raw or cooked!  Hmm, I'm not a fan of it raw, but it's very acceptable cooked if finely chopped!

Later too, I was told that if I had left it to grow the plant would have continued to produce more although smaller sprigs of broccoli.  Although somewhat disbelieving I did leave others in the ground to see what they would do.  Sure enough, they produced loads more as you can see in this photo which I took yesterday.  I had already picked lots of sprigs from it:

The white butterfly caterpillars have had a good go at the foliage, but this has not affected the sprigs at all.  If I had been vigilant about the caterpillars I could have consulted the Otepoti Urban Organics pest control page, and tried an application of garlic and oil.   Other useful links can be found in my article Gardening ~ maintenance, weed control and organics.  Next year I'll be more on the ball!

According to this article in Wikipedia broccoli is most nutritious when raw, steamed or microwaved; if boiled its nutritional value reduces with the length of time cooked.  Cooked sparingly it is good to eat and nutritious.

Broccoli is increasingly expensive in the shops.  Growing our own has meant we've had as much as we wanted, as fresh as it is possible to be, and at a fraction of the cost.  I call that a success!


maureen said...

I left my summer broccoli (heads all picked at Christmas) in this year and was picking broccoli sprigs every few days until late May.

Leigh Christina Russell said...

Hi Maureen, how satisfying and delicious! :-)