Monday, 2 September 2013

Winter harvest

Winter gardening doesn't inspire me the way summer gardening does - so many of my favourites are warm-weather plants, and the things that do grow in winter seem to grow so very slowly. My lettuces have matured at a snail's pace, the celery I grew from seed five months ago still looks more like parsley than celery and the leeks are so tiny they're in danger of being mistaken for weeds and pulled out of the vegie patch.

But the broccoli - the broccoli is magnificent, delicious and abundant. I'm growing two kinds: purple sprouting broccoli and a green sprouting broccoli (many thanks to Liz for the seeds of the green one!) When cooked they are indistinguishable in both colour and taste, but on the plant the purple is especially stunning.

It's my first time growing broccoli, as I'm a recent convert to its culinary merits, and I heartily recommend it as a winter crop. Both varieties seem to be of little interest to insects once past the seedling stage, and when mature they grow lovely little stems that resemble broccolini. You cut them off and within a couple of days new ones appear, ready to be harvested. We are enjoying eating them together with snow peas and sugar snaps from the garden, sauteed with garlic, ginger and a bit of soy sauce, with toasted flaked almonds sprinkled on top. Delicous!

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