My garden adventure with broccoli
My garden adventure with broccoli

A Very Broccoli Experience

I decided to have a new broccoli experience this year. So far it has been going better than I would have thought. I’m getting more of everything positive with this special broccoli. Read on and I’ll share it with you.

I Tried A New Variety Of Broccoli This Year

This year I tried a new variety of broccoli. It is a type of broccoli that was developed at Brazil’s oldest agricultural school. I chose it for a couple of reasons. First, it differs from what I am used to growing with the more typical hybrid broccoli. They grow forming one rather large head and it’s pretty much one and done. They are a determinate variety. These types of veggies are what agribusiness prefers because they can harvest it all at once. This Brazilian one isn’t. It keeps on producing. The second reason I chose this Brazilian broccoli is it is heat tolerant. It seems like a winning combo for Florida weather. I also prefer indeterminate veggies. You get produce from them for an extended period. Since heat is a way of life here, the heat tolerance seemed like another plus. Tests with this found it would still form florets with temps in the 90s. Not too shabby for what we think of as an ‘up north’ crop.

It’s From Open Pollinated Seeds

Since this is an open pollinated variety, I can lump this in with the heirloom seeds I prefer to grow. It is not a GMO variety, nor is it a superhybrid that will not seed true to type. They created it through selective breeding, a natural process that has been used to improve vegetables since the Middle Ages, and I’m not talking about the 1950s. There are many side shoots producing more edible florets. Typical broccoli produces one dominant head, then much fewer and smaller secondary heads.

The Flower Heads Are Mostly From Side Shoots

Comparing Broccoli, Apples ToApples, So To Speak

I can tell you this, it’s delicious! Even if you’re not that big a broccoli fan, you’ll find this to have a unique flavor. It’s delicate and mild. I wish I were one to make up clever descriptions like ‘a delightful nutty flavor with a hint of bla-bla’ but I’m not!! I’m not very good at describing wine either. But I know what I like. It does not taste like store bought broccoli. You still know it’s broccoli though. Kind of like the difference in the tastes of different apple varieties. A red delicious and a Macintosh don’t taste the same, but you know you’re eating an apple.

I’m Saving And Sharing Seeds

I was so delighted with this variety that I let one of the flower heads go to seed so I could grow my own from homegrown seeds this fall. So, I thought I picked a small side shoot, but it keeps getting bigger and bigger! I have a veritable bouquet of broccoli flowers going to seed. It certainly appears that I will have enough seeds to share. If you’re interested or curious, I will share! Let me know. The seeds look like they will be ready by the end of March or in April. PS, the seed producing plant is still sending outside edible heads. I was concerned it would be spent once it was allowed to go into seed production mode. Not so. That’s pretty cool.

Phototropic plants grow better when days are longer

One little side note. I planted these in late October if my memory serves me well. They really didn’t start to grow well until after the solstice. I have found this quaint fact to be so for many of my early crops. By the end of December, I noticed that everything in the garden started to perk up. Most of the vegetables I grow, appear to be phototropic. Longer days make good growing. Now we’ll wait and see what hotter weather will bring. I have high hopes.