Sunday, July 10, 2011


Broccoli, Brassica olerarcea (Cymosa group var italica)

This year I decided to space my Broccoli plants a little further apart in the veggie plot and as a result the 'flower' heads have grown to an enormous size. I already have a fridge full and have been eating it almost every night so these will go into making some soup which at least can be frozen for later use. Broccolli was apparently "civilized" by the Italians in the 17th century having found its way there from the eastern Mediterranean , Cyprus and Crete. It slowly became more well known in the northern parts of Europe where it was initially called Italian asparagus.
The other variety of Broccoli I grow is a sprouting variety, 'Purple Sprouting' ,which does not form a central head but has plentiful side shoots which can be picked over a longer period. The stems are tender enough to eat as well as the florets . It is often sold now as a bunch under the name of 'broccolini'. The 'Romanesco' Broccoli is one of the most decorative types to grow and certainly the most colourful. The heads are bright lime green with the floret buds arranged in spirals like a minaret. I have yet to grow this type though the seed is readily available. Next year perhaps.

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