What do you think? Catchy song title, eh?
Okay, I’ll stick to growing instead. I’m happy to report that the broccoli is doing well, growing and showing signs of decent production. I snapped off one large leaf with a cluster of pests (yuck), but the plants look healthy. The leaves are a nice, dark green and small heads are forming on all six plants.
I grew broccoli last year, but it bolted early. I managed just a few small heads. Since the cauliflower is looking worse by the day, I’ve set my sights on the great green veg.
I enjoy eating broccoli in a number of ways:
- Steamed till tender but still crunchy,
- sautéed with almonds (my husbands yummy recipe),
- and blended in soup
It’s hard not to feel virtuous when munching on this cruciferous darling
Broccoli contains more vitamin C than oranges, ounce for ounce. It has a much calcium as a glass of milk, and contains folate, important for the production and maintenance of new cells. It’s an excellent source of iron as well as fiber.
It will be an excellent source of pride as well, if I can get past these next few weeks. Fingers crossed for cooperative weather, and a pest-free, bolt-free crop.
January 26, 2013
I’ve been trying to deny the inevitable for a week now. My cauliflower is done-for. Gone. Kaput. Or at least it looks that way
It didn’t occur to me to protect the plants from frost damage. Cauliflower is a winter crop in warm climates. Shouldn’t it withstand the elements? The plants look okay, but all of the cauliflower heads turned brown.
Upon further reading, I’m wondering if I missed a step, something known as blanching. It sounds counter-intuitive: instead of allowing the flower heads, called curds, exposure to the sun, you cover them. The articles I’ve read suggest folding the leaves over the curds and holding them in place with twine. Leaves should be tied loosely to allow air to circulate.
Apparently I’ve spent one too many years eating vegetables from the supermarket. Or not. At this point, I suppose time will tell. The browning will continue or abate. The curds will grow or wilt. Meanwhile I just evicted some gray scaly pests from the broccoli plants. In a word: ick!
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Broccoli and cauliflower
December 17, 2012
December 18, 2012
Look, Ma! I grew a radish!
No thanks to the kitties of the house, my first attempt at a winter crop failed miserably. I didn’t cover the box in time, so they all assumed it was a nice, big, fresh litter box. They were mistaken.
By the time I realized what was going on, I had to start over. Feline waste and vegetables are not a good mix. Rabbits, cows or any other herbivorous animal, yes. Carnivores, no.
So, back to the garden center for me. Since time marched on, I went with cell packs instead of seeds the second time and limited the crop to cauliflower and broccoli. Once planted, I surrounded the boxes with heavy-duty wire to discourage cats and squirrels alike. It worked!
Imagine my surprise this week when a vibrant red radish appeared at the soil line. One seed survived (two if you count its tiny neighbor). We have a crisp and peppery addition to our next salad.
Survival of the Fittest
We enjoyed cauliflower and broccoli at the table tonight, though neither of them came from my garden. I hope that changes soon. All the plants are looking healthy and perky from the recent rain. Last week I saw a green worm and what looked like eggs, but apparently a bird came along and had them for lunch. There isn’t a single trace of whatever it was, though chewed leaves are in abundance.
After a life of eating mostly from the grocery store, I get pretty excited at the prospect of real vegetables growing out back. I wasn’t raised eating either of these vegetables, but have grown to love them both. I prefer my broccoli steamed or in soup and my cauliflower raw.
The pair of birdhouse gourds are still hanging on, but it won’t be long now. I’ve seen some amazing examples of painted gourds on the web. Time to start pinning ideas.
Broccoli and Cauliflower, November 9th
Broccoli and cauliflower, December 17th (six weeks later)
It looks like at least one of the radishes survived the kitty onslaught, or it could be an herb that I don’t yet recognize. I love the mystery of it all. And yes, those are pumpkin plants in the lower box, a self-seeded crop growing away in mid-December. Go figure?