A Broccoli We Will Grow

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.

Broccoli Head

Broccoli Head

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.

Broccoli Plants

Broccoli Plants

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.

Broccoli Leaves

Broccoli Leaves

Further Reading:

The Lone Radish

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


A Broccoli We Will Grow

Birdhouse Gourd

Birdhouse Gourd

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

Broccoli and Cauliflower, November 9th

Broccoli and cauliflower

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?

Savoring the Flavoring of Pumpkin


Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie
photo credit: Deborah DeLong

I love growing things that we can also eat, but I’m not much of a cook.  I *can* cook.  It just doesn’t hold my interest. Luckily for me I married a man who knows his way around the kitchen.

During the holidays, I get to fuss over the table settings while he stays busy in the kitchen.  I love arranging flowers, making place cards, lighting candles, and seeing that our guests feel at home.

Our Canadian friends celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday this Monday, October 8th.  In the US, we celebrate the third Thursday of November, so still plenty of planning weeks ahead.

Sweet pumpkin pie is a traditional favorite, but not everyone likes the texture.  I’ve found a few interesting alternatives to try this year.  I’ll be running them by the resident chef to see what he thinks.  I wanted to share them with you, too.  Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe of your own? Please let us know in the comments, below.

Pumpkin Desserts

Honey Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Deborah, at Romancing the Bee shared a recipe for this sweet sensation last week.  She says it’s quick and easy, and judging by the ingredients, it will go down as smooth as honey.

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

I can almost smell the allspice just looking at the photo.  These seasonal goodies would be a hit at the office potluck or tucked into a tin as a hostess gift.

Pumpkin Carrot Swirl Bars

You can never have too much orange.  These tasty treats combine pumpkins and carrots for a vitamin-rich dessert.  This is a great make-ahead recipe and a fun treat to pack in a school lunch.

Halloween Countdown

Masked Pumpkin

Masked Pumpkin

Happy Thanksgiving Day to my Canadian family and friends.