Flower Sprouts

The seed catalogs are rolling in and I came across my first “must try”. This is not just a new variety, this is a whole new vegetable called “Flower Sprouts”. It’s a cross between Brussels and Kale and instead of the tight cabbage like heads on regular Brussels Sprouts, these are mini open leaf sprouts that look like tiny lettuces. There are 3 types – red, green, and bicolor. The catalog says you lightly steam, saute, stir fry, or roast and that the color will hold if lightly cooked. They’re very proud of them – $11 for a packet of seeds, probably 100 or fewer per packet. That’s about 10x the price I would normally pay for sprouts. The only thing telling me to toss caution to the wind and go for the gold is that I just got in from checking produce prices in Publix and was blown away to find a bundle of chard, about half enough for a meal, at $3.99 and a poor looking cauliflower for $3. That makes any seeds I buy seem a real bargain. I know I’m going to be the first kid on the block with Flower Sprouts.

From expensive seed to cheap seed. I mentioned that I could drop in on the local ACE hardware and get a pack of spinach seed if this last batch doesn’t germinate. We were driving by the ACE and I decided to just go ahead and get a seed packet and use it later this season if the older seed does germinate. Typically when I buy a packet of seed from one of the premier suppliers, it costs nominally $2.50. If I pick up a packet from Lowes or ACE it’s a lesser brand but will cost more on the order of $1.50. Turns out the ACE sells some bulk seed which happened to include spinach seed. I scooped out a small bag full, still much more than I will use in a season. It weighed about an ounce and cost 16 cents. There’s not a great variety to select among but they do have a few of the varieties I usually plant.

A post or so back I predicted no more info regarding ghost peppers. That turns out not to be true. I got a report back from my nephew, to whom I send a quart bag full via USPS. Although they were fresh picked and shipped the same day, when they arrived two days later, they were starting to spoil and only about half made it. I guess they had started decomposing to a liquid state which dripped through the shipping box. USPS double bagged them for delivery. I can just imagine what must have been going on in the sorting center or post office. The problem must be that the fumes from the peppers are so caustic, they attack the surrounding peppers and cause them to hyper ripen or decompose. So there must be a trick to packing these for shipment.

Had a double bad battery day. The battery in the truck had been threatening to crash for a while and finally did. And coming onto spec season, I needed to make sure the trolling motor battery was up to the season. It was as dead as it can get. Anybody priced new batteries lately? I think they’ve doubled in price since the last batteries I bought. The truck battery was a 2002 vintage so I really can’t complain about that.

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