Bring On the Broccoli

It's not a shamrock, but in a week when green is in, it's only appropriate to dedicate this week's Grow It Forward Friday post to the king of green vegetables: broccoli.

I started several pots of Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli (an Italian heirloom) at the very end of February and they have been growing steadily over the past couple of weeks.  Just this past week, the very first true leaves have been appearing, seedling by seedling.  I have plans to include two or three of the plants in the garden, depending on how the spacing actually looks when I can final get out there and start marking off rows.  I can make anything fit on paper, but that doesn't always translate perfectly in the garden.  If I end up with extra seedlings, I'll be borrowing some garden space from my brother for the rest.

This is my first time attempting to grow broccoli.  It's one of the few vegetables that I don't remember growing in our family garden, but I'm up for the adventure.  I'm both a little nervous (just how big will these babies get?) and a lot excited (I have about a dozen new broccoli recipes bookmarked already) to see how it does.  I'm also just really excited to watch a new plant grow - I'm looking forward to the new color and texture it will bring to the garden this year.  With all this excitement, it's been soo hard to be patient this week, because gosh darn it, I just want to get outside and plant.  Now.  I have to keep reminding myself that despite what the thermometer says, it is only March.

Since my garden planning is done just as much out of cookbooks and food blogs as it is out of seed catalogs, one of the big draws of this variety was the promise of not only a healthy-sized central head of broccoli, but a good crop of side shoots as well.  I think it should fit well with some of my kitchen plans for my broccoli harvest: roasted broccoli, broccoli pesto, broccoli hummus, and my husband's favorite broccoli salad.  And of course I'll be setting aside a few bags in the freezer for some winter soups.  I'm looking forward to being able to share some of these with you later this summer!  Oh, and you can bet that I'll be singing this while I cook (the song starts at 1:26). J 
Grow It Forward Heirloom Seed Contest

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