Allotment Helpers and Purple Sprouting Broccoli

It’s that time of the year when we are rushing to catch up with work we really ought to have done over the autumn or winter. That means some quick heavier digging and turning over, letting the weather break down the clods a bit and then working it over more finely in preparation for sowing seeds and planting seedlings.

Gina at allotment

This weekend, a friend came to help on Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining; it really was a beautiful day.

Last year was a poor year for us, harvest wise and the combined yield from both garden and allotment was less than we’d enjoyed from the garden alone for the several years previous. There were a number of factors including weather, the added workload of having a new allotment on top of the garden and a poorly timed spring holiday which impacted seed propagating for many more weeks than it lasted.

The purple sprouting broccoli we planted in 2010 was ready for harvesting from mid-January 2011, very early indeed. So when we saw nothing much at all by the same time this year, I assumed it had failed. Very happy then, to see it starting to show growth late February and early March.

On Sunday we harvested the first florets, sharing them half half with our kind helper.

gina psb cooked
photo by Gina Navato

Gina cooked the PSB and some cauliflower florets with anchovies, pine nuts and capers, for a very simple evening meal.


IMAG0711 IMAG0712

We did ours as a snack. It was nuked, only briefly, in the microwave (with a knob of butter and a little salt sprinkled over first). Crunchy, tasty, fresh, delicious!

If any other friends want to get some exercise of a weekend, and fancy helping, give us a shout.

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7 Comments to "Allotment Helpers and Purple Sprouting Broccoli"

  1. Natalie

    Wow you’re really lucky to have an allotment, I’d love to grow my own stuff. I imagine it’s hard work but well worth it in the end : )

  2. Laura@howtocookgoodfood

    How brilliant, I can understand the difficulties of trying to combine garden and allotment duties. Not easy at all. Don’t know about you but we have a water ban coming into place next week on our allotment, so am resisting the urge to plant too much even though it is so tempting! Good looking PSB by the way! x

  3. kaveyeats

    Food Urchin, no no no she’s MY glamourous assistant, you find your own! ;-P

    Catherine, it was lovely!

    Naalie, we started off growing in our back garden and gradually converted more and more of the space to a kitchen garden at home. Even if you don’t have much space, you could do the same, or try container gardening on balcony or patio, wherever you have space!

    Laura, we have the same. We can use water from the taps with watering cans, I believe. Just a hosepipe ban, so it’ll be harder to water such a large area.

  4. Laura

    That broccoli looks amazing! I wish I could grow such things in my garden but unfortunately we only get about 2 hours of sunlight in our garden a day. I alos wish that information had been included in the description of the flat when we rented it! We had tomato and swiss chard success last year. Maybe we should consider an allotment. Do you find it ever turning into a hassle though? Thinking “ugh, got to get to the allotment today. Wish it weren’t so far away.”

  5. kaveyeats

    Our allotment is only a mile away, so a short drive when we need to take equipment or a 20 minute walk otherwise. Certainly, work commitments mean it’s harder this year than last, for Pete, who is the main allotmenteer of the two of us. We’ll have to see how we manage this year, as this is only 2nd year we’ve had it!!


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