November 3, 2011
The third raised bed is now planted with broccoli and other members of the brassica family. The image above is purple sprouting heirloom broccoli. Behind the broccoli is a trench of snow peas poised to climb the trellis. More about snow peas later.
Check HuffPost Food for a description of the virtues of purple sprouting broccoli. I purchased a six-pack at Walter Anderson’s Nursery in Point Loma. If you’re looking for seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Heirloom Seeds and Victory Seeds offer them. Apparently florets and leaves of purple sprouting broccoli are edible. This is an English heirloom variety bred for overwintering with lots of purple florets in early spring.
Right in front of the purple sprouting broccoli are seeds of ‘Red Winter’ Kale from Botanical Interests. My mind’s eye envisions the color harmonies. We’ll see if it works. Last year a densely planted four foot row kept my husband and me, various relatives and neighbors and one cancer patient in kale. Harvest young leaves at 2-4 inches for baby greens and larger leaves for several months. (Image is of last year’s crop).
Each year I direct seed some broccoli in the garden in addition to purchasing transplants. Curiously, the broccoli plants that grow from seed in the garden seem sturdier and more productive. The transplants yield earlier than the seed-grown broccoli, but it all works out. In recent years I’ve planted 'All Season Blend’ from Renee’s Garden Seeds.
I still have to find room elsewhere in the garden for 'Pixie’ Cabbage, cauliflower and maybe more broccoli. I love winter vegetables and the ease of the winter garden.