The high temperature yesterday was nearly 80 degrees – a big swing from the low temperature of 42 degrees we enjoyed overnight. The broccoli plants must have gotten confused and thought it was summer because they spent all their energies stretching their crowns up to the sky! (Broccoli will bolt when the weather is too warm, which means stretching up towards the sun to begin flowering.) Fortunately, no flowering occurred, and we harvested and each ate a large portion of broccoli with our dinner last night. Calabrese broccoli has a very mild flavor, and it was delicious steamed and plain. I’m not usually one to eat broccoli stalks, but I found myself really enjoying the softer center of the stalk. I had to stop myself from peeling off the outer skin, reminding myself that it is full of nutrients, too. I think that when I’m finished harvesting crowns and shoots, I’m definitely going to harvest what I can of the stalks, cut them up and freeze them for broccoli cheese soup later on. I’m wondering how my two newest broccoli plants will fare after transplanting them. Will they produce well or simply bolt? Well, there’s only one sure-fire way to figure that out. Plant them!
Meanwhile, the spinach plants have really grown in size the past week or so since my last post. Abundant sunshine mixed with some rain showers here and there works like magic – with the added help of fish emulsion foliage sprays! I think I’ll make a big salad tonight for the family, mix in some spinach leaves, red sail lettuce, buttercrunch lettuce and cosmo savoy lettuce. If we still have our homegrown carrots left, I also like to shred carrots on my salad. Using ingredients I have at home (Bragg’s Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, ground savory, and dried fennel), I can add homegrown dried thyme, lavender, rosemary, sage, oregano,oram and basil to make a nice Herbs de Provence salad dressing to top it off. Nothing fancy to the herb recipe, just a couple tablespoons of each, mixed together well. (Incidentally, this is also a great marinade for chicken.)
I harvested three heads of lettuce yesterday because I have so many maturing at the same time. I washed and spun the leaves and brought a full grocery sack up to work for my colleagues to enjoy. Looks like over half the bag is eaten! There are a couple other gardeners here who like to share their bounty with the rest of us, so it’s nice to be able to have enough to share as well. I’ll probably need to cut down a couple more heads and run them over to my mother-in-law’s house this weekend. Don’t want good lettuce to go to waste!