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The Harvest That Was Not

May 5, 2015

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Subtitle this post, “Decision-making in a Drought.” Two purple sprouting broccoli (PSB) plants stand as sentinels in my vegetable garden. Each is over four feet tall and three feet wide. This year, neither produced a single broccoli sprout.

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I grow them for their incredible beauty and stately presence in the garden and their sprouts. .

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Most years I plant them in 15 gallon pots to manage their size–the bonsai effect. For some reason that escapes me now, I planted them in front of the seven foot tall snow peas this year.

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But beyond their beauty is their bounty when they produce. After a smallish central head, the sprouts are abundant. However, not this year.

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But in a drought should I be planting purple sprouting broccoli when usually one in three plants don’t produce sprouts? 

It was a warm winter with little rain. Was that the problem? No way to know. How much water did I use to grow two plants four feet tall that produced only fodder for the compost bin?  

After this year’s non-harvest it will be difficult to justify some of the water budget for an edible with such tenuous production. 

Perhaps I’ll depend on a March showing of PSB at Specialty Produce, but I’ll miss its presence in my garden.

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