A few days ago I posted about my 2008 fall garden, where I wound up with 24 broccoli plants and ZERO cauliflower. This year I managed to get two cauliflower plants to maturity and I cut back a bit on the broccoli – only 22 plants. So much for cutting back! We do love our broccoli though.
I did do a better job this year of spacing out the harvest on the broccoli. I planted Early Dividend, Packman, Premium Crop, Apollo and Green Goliath, and they didn’t all head up at the same time. The Green Goliath is an older open-pollinated variety from Burpee that I first grew many years ago. It came on later, which was a good thing, and it made big heads with marvelous flavor. I’ll try it again next year for the spring crop. I grow broccoli in our zone 6 garden both spring and fall, though the fall crop usually does better.
Even though this is only the second year for the vegetable garden here, the soil building plan seems to be working. I have added leaves, compost and manure to our silty soil as well as some organic fertilizer and limestone. I sprayed the cole crops a couple of times with Bt and spread Sluggo around on the soil, and now we are enjoying the organically grown fruits of our labors, so to speak.
One of the things I like to make when we have a lot of broccoli is this Broccoli and Walnut salad. It’s a lightened up version of the old standby broccoli-bacon-raisin salad of my youth. Some of those recipes actually called for a pound of bacon, but I found that just a few slices add big flavor without all the fat and calories. I also substituted cranberries for the raisin and added walnuts. And I love the new photo tent!