I’m a fair-weather gardener. I like to plant spring through summer, enjoying what survives the onslaught of snails, squirrels, rats and tobacco worms. Seasonal favorites include pumpkins and tomatoes, along with a row of towering sunflowers.
We added a few raised beds two years ago, and since then I can’t stand to see all that bare soil. Even with my tiny plot, I’m aware of the benefits of cover crops: less erosion, for starters, and if properly planted, cover crops like fava beans will enrich the soil with nitrogen for next season’s plantings. Last year’s fava beans were tilled back into the soil, and we followed with a bumper pumpkin crop.
This year’s cover crop is Broccoli. I wasn’t raised eating this delicious green. I was in my twenties before tasting it on a flight to Vancouver. It’s now one of my favorites. I’ll eat it raw but love it steamed or in soups.
This week, my lush, green plants started to yield tiny florets. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of watching things grow.
The Power of Broccoli: nutrition, selection, storage and history
Recipe: Sesame Steamed Broccoli
Recipe: Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup*
*I made this recipe a few weeks ago with organic broccoli from a local market. It was delicious!