Wednesday 17 April 2013

Its Time to Harvest the Purple Sprouting Broccoli! (Part 2)

How to Harvest Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Harvesting shoots of Purple Sprouting Broccoli

With great patience comes great rewards - at long last, the purple sprouting broccoli is ready to be harvested!  When I first arrived in the UK, I grew this as a kind of "Kai Lan" (Chinese Broccoli) substitute, because I love Kai Lan, but couldn't seem to find any locally.

Harvest Purple Sprouting Broccoli
To harvest, you simply need to cut the tender stems and their sprouts with a sharp knife or secateurs. 

New shoots will continue to emerge, but do be careful not to leave them for too long, or the tight buds will start to open up into little flowers and the stems will become tough.

Older shoots should still be harvested, as this is supposed to help promote new growth.

Mature Purple Sprouting Broccoli sprouting flowers
Older shoot beginning to form flowers

It is quite impressive just how many sprouting stems each plant can produce.  A few years ago, we quite by accident, grew about eight of these plants, and suddenly found ourselves in massive over supply and had to give lots away.

Also read
Part 3: Cooking & Eating Purple Sprouting Broccoli - Asian style stir-fried recipe
and if you haven't already:
Part 1: Growing our own Purple Sprouting Broccoli
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