Ahhh! Relief from the intense summer heat has arrived. Mornings in the 60s and 80s for the daytime high makes me want to get out and plant. I wanted to talk about a popular fall season favorite, broccoli. Many songs have been made about the vegetable, which is actually a cluster of small flowers. Dana Carvey auditioned for SNL with “Choppin’ Broccoli,” for one.
And there is the Sesame Street song “Hurray Hurrah for Broccoli.”
When to plant it: While the time has passed to start these from seed, you can easily plant them from transplants and get a good harvest. If you had wanted to start it from seed, you could have planted it in August.
How to take care of it: Feed it weekly with a foliar feeding like Garret Juice Plus. Broccoli is a heavy feeder; I also put a handful of compost around mine monthly. A common problem pest is the cabbage looper, for which I use Sluggo Plus.
When to harvest it: I cut the heads off, at an angle, when they get about as big as my fist. You can continue to harvest broccoli until it shoots into flower around March. At this point I let it go to flower and feed the bees.
How to harvest it: If you cut at an angle to the lower leaves of the stem something amazing will happen… two more broccoli heads will form!
What to do with it: Steam it, stir fry it, put it in a soup, eat it raw. I have two favorite ways to eat broccoli: 1) Go to Spiral Diner and order the steamed broccoli with cheese dipping sauce, and 2) Raw Broccoli Soup (recipe after the jump). You can eat the leaves too!
Nutritional value of it: Low in calories and high in dietary fiber, phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals this veggie is hailed as an anti-cancer food.
Raw Broccoli Soup
3 cups water
1 cup almonds
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups broccoli
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon onion
1 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
½ teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Place water, almonds, and honey in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients and blend until creamy.