Purple sprouting broccoli

by Jane Moore

I love the first harvest of the new season - it's so welcome after the long dark winter.

Jane MooreI love the first harvest of the new season - it's so welcome after the long dark winter. For a while now, I've been harvesting winter veg, such as leeks, kale and cabbage. These stalwarts of the plot have meant we've had fresh veg for soups and winter roasts when there's been nothing else available.

But now the mornings are getting lighter and brighter, the raspberries are starting to leaf up on the plot. I must confess I'm getting a tad bored of my usual selection of vegetables.

So you might be surprised to hear that this week I couldn't wait to get up to the plot and start picking. Even Paul braved the icy winds to give me a hand with the harvest. And why were we so excited? Because the purple sprouting broccoli was ready.

Luscious green, purple-topped stems have appeared over the last fortnight - I've watched them developing, biding my time, waiting for the moment to pounce. This week I judged that the sunshine and rain would have matured the spears just enough to warrant picking them.

My judgement was right and within a couple of hours the first shoots of the season were harvested, gently steamed and served with a knob of butter.

The first harvest of purple sprouting broccoli, along with spring birds and emerging blooms have fired Paul and I up about the plot. We're now planning to plant some spuds and build a compost bin this weekend.

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Gardeners' World Web User 24/03/2007 at 18:21

we have been digging and putting up supports for beans and peas and cant wait to plant some more vegatables we made a cloch for our carrots but the wind destoyed it will they be alright left uncovered? also when is it the best time to start growing lettuce?

Gardeners' World Web User 26/03/2008 at 06:47

RE; Kelly lamb i wouldn't recommend leaving your carrots uncovered until the frost has definitely past, they're tough cookies but not that tough. Also the lettuce you can sow any time depending on the variety buy heat resistant lettuce for the summer and cold resistant ones to pick after the fall

Gardeners' World Web User 09/04/2008 at 12:47

I too picked my purple sprouting, however, I didn't actually serve myself any, as there seemed to be a lot of aphids coming off, no matter how many times I rinsed it in salty water!

Gardeners' World Web User 21/04/2008 at 15:26

I've been picking my purple sprouting for the past week, its my first year on the plot. Have had cabbage and now sprouting not had any probs with any aphids or slugs. Had a prob with pigeons earlier but netting solved that. Looking forward to lots more veg & fruit.

Gardeners' World Web User 02/09/2010 at 14:31

Can you point me to the 'Build a Compost Bin' instructions that came out on Episode 12 this year. There are at least 2 on the Website and I can't decide which it was? Thanks R James

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