One of the amazing things I am learning as I reap the benefits of my slow growing brassicas and beetroot is that the winter/early spring crop can provide a family like mine an abundance of greens for dinner. I’m almost at an over-supply moment where I am going to have to start blanching and freezing. How exciting.
I’ve learned to cut off the broccoli head and to keep harvesting as smaller off shoots present themselves. This alone is keeping our family of seven every second week well feed. My cauliflower is now being harvested and eaten as well.
But the true gem of the garden, to provide sustenance during the lean late winter/early spring months is all wrapped up in amazing little book called Root to Stalk cooking by Tara Duggan.
I did know about cutting off the outside of broccoli stalks and slicing the inner stalk thinly for a stir fry, but my mind was completely blown when I realised that not only could I utilise the broccoli or beetroot in my suburban paradise, but I could also utilise their leaves. Kaboom. World blown.
Just like the snout to tail philosophy, much more of the vegetables grown organically in the suburban back yard can be eaten, providing essential nourishment.
So now, as I see the tender little leaves of broccoli and cauliflower growing, I harvest them, wash and slice finely for stir-fries. Beetroot leaves are harvest also and used for salads or stir-fries.
My brussel spout plant heads are also harvested (as well as the brussel sprouts of course !)
And my garden has become so much more interesting as a result, as I learn about the parts of the garden that I can harvest for nutritional value) and feed my family. It doesn’t get any better than that.