I returned home from holiday travel to find my broccoli ready to harvest. I was delighted to see about 15 speckled-blue balloons rising from the forest of glaucous leaves.
I tried two new cultivars this year—‘Dura-Pak 16’ and ‘Burney’. These two varieties caught my eye flipping through the Twilley seed catalog because they were listed as part of the Eastern Broccoli Project, an effort to develop broccoli cultivars for the eastern and southern US that tolerate our warmer nights, have flatter heads to shed rain, and root systems that are more tolerant of wet soils.
It was certainly a good year to evaluate their adaptability to wetness. Greg Grant posted online the other day we’ve gotten 82 inches of rain this past year. Just since September 1, 45 inches have fallen! That explains why I’ve had a creek running through my yard since October.
The plugs also got into the ground a little late, but it’s not uncommon for me to be harvesting broccoli in December and January. Now, I’m curious to see how these types do on the other end of the cool-season spectrum. We shall see come later this spring.
One of my favorite ways to cook broccoli is a recipe learned from Alton Brown’s Good Eats. Wash it well. Quarter the florets and stems. Put it in a skillet with about a 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat on high for three minutes and then low for three minutes. Add some butter and salt, and you’re good to go.