Have I mentioned that this is the worst winter in Florida I can ever remember. Sure, it’s the coldest ever but it’s also the dreariest – like living in Portland or Seattle or Dublin. Certainly glad I have the garden and included several varieties that do well in cool, damp weather. When I check the garden out, I immediately head to those items, knowing they’re happy campers. The lettuce, swiss chard, and spinach are just glowing!! Nancy’s not a happy camper because I have quite a few things still in the house that by now should be spending most of the time outside – and they’re getting bigger and bigger.
For those of you who have never grown broccoli, it grows mostly the same as cauliflower with a large head forming in the middle of the plant. The big difference is that when you cut the cauliflower head, that’s it; no more cauliflower from that plant. With broccoli after you cut the head, it starts sprouting side shoots which are miniature broccoli heads. The picture (shot with the new camera) shows a bowl full of side shoots. A plant will put out these side shoots for weeks after harvesting the main head; basically until the plant flowers. So if you keep harvesting the side shoots, it will continue to produce. Once you let it go to flowers/seed – it’s done. I choose varieties that put out loads of side shoots.
The other picture is today’s harvest of spinach and radishes. The interesting thing is the size of the radishes. This is a variety called Parat and is a German radish. Even at this size, they’re quite mild. The spinach is a heritage variety dating back to the 1800’s called Bloomsdale Everlasting. You know anything this dark green has got to be good for you, doesn’t it?? Bloomsdale is the best ever – very tender and tasty. No wonder this variety has remained on the scene for so long. I only eat spinach raw, in salads, so the tenderness is a big deal to me. The salad tonight was spinach, radishes, and kohlrabi with Garlic Expression dressing. Spinach is another of those crops that I bent my pick on for the last couple of years but have finally broken the code. I never had trouble with spinach in Utah and have grown several varieties over the years so being unsuccessful here has been a big disappointment. Wish I had tried this variety before.