Rosey the Riveter

Monday, April 15, 2013

Broccoli, the Super Super Food

Most of us know that broccoli is considered a superfood.  Here in Hampton Roads, it is a spring and fall crop... although I won't grow it in the spring anymore because there are so many cabbage moth butterflies/worms to contend with.  However, I do enjoy growing it in the fall because I have more room in the garden and it gives us fresh veggies just when the rest of the garden has pooped out.

Once I harvest the main head of broccoli, I leave the plant in the ground and let it produce side shoots.  These are great for salads and soups, and the occasional side dish in the middle of winter.

After harvesting the side shoots, I continue to leave the plant in the ground.  It will then produce tiny little yellow flowers which the bees absolutely love, probably because it's so late in winter/early in spring that there isn't much else in bloom.  

I love this picture because you can see how loaded down this little gal is... that yellow 'tumor' is actually pollen!
Eventually, I need to yank the plants up because they are taking up valuable garden space.  Yesterday, I did just that.  Normally, I'd throw them in the compost pile but I decided to give them to the chickens and see what they thought.  I kid you not, in a matter of just minutes, they had stripped the flowers clean:
So there you have it.  For us, for the bees, for the chickens... broccoli truly is a super food!

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