Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Harvest (sort of)

The time has come to harvest the 3 broccoli plants in the garden. They were starting to show signs of going to flower so I made the decision to pick them.

I steamed one of the heads for my daughter to eat. The rest, I added to a beef and broccoli stir fry, which turned out delicious- if I do say so myself. The recipe I found at rachael ray's website and the only alterations I made was to add some red pepper. I also used brown instead of white rice:

Over next winter I'll have to decide if it is worth it to grow broccoli in the garden. On the negative side, it takes up a lot of space (ie one square/plant), and seems to be a little high maintenance due to the creepy worms I found on it early on in the summer. Next year, I will definitely be a little more prepared and will create some sort of mini-greenhouse to fit over the plant using the row cloth to prevent an infestation in the first place. Also, I will be able to get the plants in the ground a lot earlier in the season which should help on a number of fronts. The earlier in, I have read, the larger the broccoli head will grow before the summer heat starts to turn it to a flower. The broccoli I harvested this year were smaller in size, I think, and resulted in only 1 meal. (Side note disclosure: since I served one whole small head of steamed broccoli to my daughter, I did have to add a bit of store bought broccoli to complete the dish I prepared ....I like A LOT of broccoli in my beef and broccoli. The home grown broccoli was definitely SUPERIOR in flavour!).

Speaking of meals from my garden, I am introducing an enhancement to the blog and have added a harvest 'counter' to keep track of my 2009 production. Instead of tracking the harvest in terms of weight, like a lot of fellow square foot bloggers seem to do, I am going to count the meals I have been able to prepare with the vegetables I grow. I feel tracking the number of meals will be more meaningful to me and will allow me to see how successful I have been from year to year. Also, I will try to keep a running tally of the savings I have made by tracking the approximate grocery store cost equivalent of the veggies used in the meal. Some day (but definitely not this year), I may actually recover the 'capital' cost of getting this garden started!

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