The broccoli in the garden is coming along a real treat. The plants seem to like the mild(ish) weather, it’s still nippy out but there’s no more heavy frosts and we haven’t had snow in this part of the country (well we had a brief flurry back in January which lasted an hour or so and didn’t settle)….. new broccoli florets are appearing like magic and there’s a nice crop waiting to be harvested and turned into some delicious suppers…..I’m always so amazed at how big the plants grow, we’d bought some seedlings and they seemed tiny little things when we planted them out.
Summer mornings and autumn ones too involved me going out with a cloth to wipe off any cabbage white butterfly eggs, and even though I was doing this sometimes three or ore times a day we still found some caterpillars hiding under the leaves, munching away. Anyway my “butterfly watch” paid off and the Broccoli escaped pretty much okay. These ones are about 2 ft high, a couple perhaps a little shorter. The other year I bought some plants from the car boot and they were really huge, easily 4 ft and the amount of florets they produced was staggering.
I love vegetables*, I’m pretty sure I like them all apart from suede…ugh. I’ve tried different ways to cook it which friends have assured me make it taste really nice…they all lied, it’s completely yuch in my book. I particularly like dark green veg, spinache, cabbage, sprouts…..and broccoli. Actually I think broccoli is one of my all time favourites, I love it when it comes into season and look forward to finding new recipes to use it in (though it’s hard to beat it lightly steamed as it is, maybe a little squirt of lemon juice and some salty butter melted on top, but we also like it with sweet chilli sauce or with some toasted hazelnuts just sprinkled on top)…….but along with the taste I love how it looks, like a beautiful purple bouquet of some exotic flower.
We lost a few plants to the wood pigeons, they’ve been nibbling the tops of the plants and eating all the lovely young leaves but we’ve got enough left for our needs and that’s what counts. I don’t know why the pigeons have eaten it this year, the other time we grew it they left the plants alone, maybe this is a sweeter variety or we didn’t put enough other food out for them (though they seem to gobble up the seed and meal worms we put out each morning)…..
We don’t grow our broccoli under a poly-tunnel (our garden really isn’t that big, though my boyfriend made a tiny one to cover one of our raised beds which we grow salad leaves under) so the broccoli is very much exposed to the elements (and the pigeons), though we’re quite sheltered here and although it’s quite often foggy and misty in the mornings with living near the marshes, it always feels a bit warmer here than being right in the city
The last couple of weeks we’ve had a little visitor from next door lurking in the broccoli patch. The pink nosed poppet (Bob) hides under the broccoli leaves and then pounces out as Bernard strolls past. This then leads to much chasing around the garden and across the vegetable beds with the occasional pot getting knocked over. His sister (Izzy) prefers to stand or sit in our strawberry plants, and then watch all the hoohah and hullabaloo from the edge of the garden.
*oddly I’m much more fussy about fruit, there are loads I don’t like, and then the ones I do like, I only like fresh not cooked or baked or put in a pie.