Harvesting and Using Broccoli

harvesting and Using Broccoli

I love broccoli!  It’s so easy to grow and is such a healthy vegetable!  This year I started my seeds under lights in February and planted them in the ground the second week in March.  I haven’t had problems with pests thankfully.  But, if you have problems with cabbage worms or other bugs, cover the starts with a fabric row cover thin enough to allow light and water penetration in.  Make sure you bury the edges in the ground around the plants so the little white butterflies can’t lay their eggs on them!  If you don’t have fabric row covers or didn’t get around to putting them on in time, you can use a garlic spray to get rid of them.  Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Garlic Bug Spray

Blend 2-3 bulbs garlic in a bit of water
Add 2 cups water,
2 tablespoons plant based liquid dish soap,
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and allow to sit over night.
Strain through a cheese cloth and put in sprayer and spray the plant thoroughly. This recipe also works well for wireworms, ants, aphids, slugs, cutworms, and caterpillars.
  Broccoli has so many health benefits!  I am grateful my kids will eat it by itself, lightly steamed.  However, if you or your loved ones don’t appreciate as much as we do, try slipping it into salads or soups for added nutrition.  Check out the 9 Benefits of Broccoli  I love that it is an alkaline food, helps prevent cancer, reduces cholesterol, and detoxes the body!

Harvesting broccoli is very simple. Once the head of the plant has grown to a medium – large size (before the head becomes loose and starts to flower) cut it off with a large kitchen knife. Notice in the picture there are little florets next to where I cut off the big one in the middle. You can let these get a little bigger and cut them off for use later or harvest now.

Broccoli Going to Seed

Here is a head I didn’t catch in time, so I will let it go to seed and save them for starting seeds next year or in the fall. This is Waltham broccoli (an excellent variety for Utah).

Broccoli 4

Broccoli Recipes

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Soup

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Soup

It’s hard to miss the cheese in this one!  It’s so good!

6 cups vegetable stock

1 cup cashews

1 medium onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 garlic clove, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped to 1 inch size cubes

1 large head of broccoli, chopped (about 4 cups)

2 teaspoons dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Puree 1 cup of vegetable stock with the cashews in a blender until smooth.  Set aside.

In a large dutch oven saute the onion, celery and carrot over medium heat in 1 cup vegetable broth for about 5minutes, until tender crisp.  Add garlic, red pepper and potatoes.  Cook for a few more minutes.  Add the remaining 4 cups of broth and broccoli, thyme and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and turn heat down to medium low and let simmer until the broccoli and potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the cashew cream to soup and stir until mixed.  Remove from pot and puree half the soup in small batches.  You can leave some chunky or puree it all.  Serve with a crusty bread and salad!  Recipe from Forks over Knives Cookbook


Broccoli Pear & Feta Salad

Broccoli, Pear & Feta Salad

This delicious invention came from a last minute need to put together an extra salad for a family gathering.  I have to say I was pretty proud of myself!  This was so good!  From the garden: broccoli and mint

2 Tablespoons agave

2 cups pecans halves

Coat the pecans with agave in a medium size skillet on medium-low heat.  Constantly stir for 5-10 minutes until the pecans are caramelized and slightly darkened.  Let cool.

In a bowl mix together:

1-2 heads fresh broccoli chopped into bite size pieces

4 pears chopped

1 cup crumbled feta cheese


Mint-Pepper Dressing:

In a blender puree:

1 cup peppermint or spearmint leaves

Juice of 2 lemons

4 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon peppercorns

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons agave

Pour just enough dressing to coat the salad and serve!  Save the rest of the dressing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Emily Saddler

Emily is first a wife to her best friend Ryan, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, Holistic Health Practitioner in the state of Utah and Traditional Naturopath outside of the state of Utah, master gardener, yoga/pilates instructor, certified clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist, and doula. She is a very passionate advocate of all things Mother Nature! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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