The Joy of Gardening: Eating What You Grow

It’s a remarkable experience eating something you grow yourself. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it.

I grow vegetables on a small-scale, and suffer the same garden failures we all do: pests, frost, heatwaves, drought. It’s a wonder anything gets on the table.

It’s human nature to persevere, however, and when success follows…wow!

We ate fresh broccoli from the garden today. Six beautifully formed plants, six perfect heads of broccoli. Those remarkable greens moved from garden to kitchen to table in under an hour.  Broccoli never tasted so sweet.

Cream of the Broccoli Crop

Cream of the Broccoli Crop

Broccoli Fresh from the Plant

Broccoli Fresh from the Plant

Basket of Freshly Picked Broccoli

Basket of Freshly Picked Broccoli

Broccoli Sauteed in Garlic and Olive Oil

Broccoli sautéed in Garlic and Olive Oil

My Husband’s Recipe

  • Two heads of broccoli
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of lemon juice
  • handful of slivered almonds

Heat oil on medium.  Add garlic and broccoli; salt and pepper to taste

Cover for 2 to 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender

Add a dash of lemon juice and a handful of slivered almonds

Cover and cook for one more minute.

Serve immediately

20 thoughts on “The Joy of Gardening: Eating What You Grow

  1. I used to grow a lot of vegetables – corn, Japanese eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. It took a few years to get a decent garden going, then we found our dog Jack (you’ll be reading about him and his sister Sasha next week). He was teething at the time so he would pick a vegetable, chew it two or three times, then bring it to me! Life has happened since then and I just don’t have the time to grow a garden, but I wish I did.
    I’ll be making that broccoli recipe later this week 😉

    Spashionista (Alicia)

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  2. Your serving bowl made me laugh so hard! Congratulations on enjoying the fruits of your labour and bonus, Mike was the chef. It’s awesome too that you grew it all over winter. That’s making good use of your garden my friend. Silly question, will it grow a new bit of broccoli after you trim it off or do you have to replant?

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    • Isn’t that the funniest bowl? A friend gave us that and we use it all the time.

      Thank you for that. I’m so lucky to have a guy that loves cooking.

      Your question isn’t a silly one, and I’m glad I read up on this or I wouldn’t have known either. They suggest cutting the stalk a few inches down and leaving the plant in place. Much smaller florets or ‘side broccoli’ as I’ve heard it referred to will grow. The plants are really healthy, so I’ll leave them in place and will see what happens.

      Thanks for your kind words, too. I read up on cover crops a few years ago, and planted fava beans to till back in and enrich the soil. Last year I planted broccoli, but it bolted early. 😦 This is my first viable crop. I’m pretty excited.

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      • That’s kind of awesome that the same plant will grace your table more than once. We eat a lot of broccoli, I’ll have to use Mikes recipe next time. We also love garlic. I use it almost every night. I wonder sometimes if they can smell it next door, giggle. I should learn the tricks to growing Basil, I go thru that like crazy too. Oh boy, I need a garden 😀

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  3. I’m so envious of your broccoli! Mine was a disaster and bolted but I had dreams of it looking like yours. The couple of stalks that were good enough had been gobbled up by the caterpillars overnight – I’m always amazed that the bugs enjoy the same food as us and not thistles!! Lovely photos Alys x

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    • Thanks, PJ! Mine bolted last year so I know the feeling. This year was my first success with broccoli.

      Those caterpillars are voracious eaters. I had bugs on one leaf a few weeks ago, and worried they were a gonner. I completely removed the leaf and offending bugs and amazingly, not a one got left behind.

      We soaked the heads in salt water for twenty minutes first, but not a single bug floated out of there. Whew…

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  4. How exciting for you! I always loved eating what I grew too. Just love that bowl!!! I read Alicia’s comment about the dogs eating her broccoli. I always cooked extra for my dog. It was dessert for her. She loved it. I’ve never tried broccoli but maybe someday soon. Great pictures.:)

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    • Thanks, Marlene! It was exciting.

      How sweet that you cooked extra for your dog. They do seem to really enjoy vegetables. I have a friend that used to steam pumpkins for her dogs. She said it was a favorite.

      Isn’t that bowl a kick? It’s true around here as well.

      Thanks for reading and for your nice comments.

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    • I wish I could remember. I originally planted from seed, but the cats dug it up. I went back for cell packs (too late to start from seed a second time), but don’t recall the brand. Silly me. I usually keep good records.

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