Broccoli Quotes

“This is the last statement I’m going to have on broccoli.  There are truckloads of broccoli this very minute descending on Washington.

My family is divided.  I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.

But, Bar—, wait a minute!  For the broccoli vote out there, Barbara loves broccoli.  She’s tried to make me eat it.  She eats it all the time herself.  So, she can go out and meet the caravan of broccoli coming into Washington!”

― President George H. W. Bush, 22 March, 1990, White House News Conference

 

“I just love chocolate. It’s God’s apology for broccoli.” 
― 
Richard Paul Evans, Author – Finding Noel

 

Is Broccoli Popular?

I liked broccoli as a child.

 

 

Chances are, if you liked broccoli as a child, you will like it as an adult.  But, regrettably, the opposite is just as spot on.

Over the past 20 years, there has been a 900% increase in the consumption of broccoli.  It is the world’s 5th most popular vegetable.

 

 

A Versatile Veggie…

Sure, you can eat broccoli raw but, most broccoli enthusiasts prefer that it be roasted (until brown-tinged), steamed (less than 5 minutes), or boiled (60 to 90 seconds for blanching).Broccoli with BBQ dipping sauce.

Then combine it with a favorite dipping sauce be it your favorite salad dressing or a flavored dip usually reserved for celery or potato chips.

The broccoli haters who feel they “have to eat it”, will cook it until it is limp and mushy then, smother it with a cheese sauce made with Velveeta, milk, and butter.  But, the more you cook it, the more you remove the nutritional benefits.  And, to add extra fat and calories with cheese sauce after that?  Well, so much for the nutritional advantage, huh?  Right out the window!

We use it as a garnish, add it to salads, put it on pizza, or use it as an ingredient in pasta dishes and stir fried concoctions.

Broccoli as a garnish.Broccoli, shrimp, and pasta soup.Broccoli and tofu stir fry.

 

Ever Tried a Broccoli Smoothie?

I get out my Ninja blender and add a cup of broccoli, along with any fruit…bananas, strawberries, pineapples, apples, peaches, etc., or a combination of several compatible fruits.

Then, I add a little water and ice (I like it cold).  And, voilà…a magically refreshing, green milk shake for Jim, the lifelong gardener!  I do admit to occasionally adding a bit of peanut butter when I use bananas with broccoli.  Since peanut butter was a mainstay in my house growing up, I still enjoy it.

Why do I use my Ninja?  The super tough and durable blades finely chop the ingredients…especially the ice…more efficiently without sustaining ice-caused blade damage that is inherent to other blenders.  Check out the review for the Ninja system I use right here.

 

Broccoli Looks Like a Healthy Little Green Tree

Broccoli tree.

Well, broccoli looks so healthy because, it is jam-packed full of good things for your body!

It is actually a negative-calorie food meaning that, because of its high fiber content, the body uses up more energy digesting it than the calories it provides to the body.

This little green tree is loaded with more types of nutrients that you can imagine:

Vitamins – A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E, and K.

Minerals and other nutrients – Calcium, Choline, Chromium, Copper, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Omega-3 Fats, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Selenium, and Zinc.

Broccoli has been scientifically proven to put the S.P.I.R.I.T. back into your body!

Stamp out – Dead cells, cholesterol from your body.

Promote – Weight loss due to high fiber content, as well as development of red blood cells and antibodies to aid the immune system.

Improve – Heart, eye, and gut health, as well as bone structure and tissue growth.  Enhance brain functions since potassium is crucial for the transference of nerve impulses.  Increase the ability of blood to clot.

Reduce – Cholesterol levels, body toxins, and blood pressure.  Reduces reactions to allergies.   Decreases the harmful effects that sugar can have on blood vessels.  Consuming sugar adds plaques, clogging up the vessels.  Chomping on some broccoli is like using a wire brush to clean out the vessels.  Diabetes can also damage blood vessels and broccoli has been known to reverse the damage done by this disease.

Influence – Muscle, cell, and nerve functions.

Turn away – Cancer cell development…especially, breast, prostate, and skin cancers.  Inhibit cardiovascular disease.  Put a stop to rashes, arthritis, kidney problems, and even eczema.

 

So, Get Some S.P.I.R.I.T. and Grow Some Broccoli!

Premium Crop broccoli.

I have listed four varieties that are particularly tasteful:

Marathon Hybrid (97 days to maturity) – They are heat tolerant but, will keep growing in cooler temperatures.  This is a good fall planting variety.

Packman Hybrid (50 days to maturity) – Packman Hybrids have large, solid heads with tight buds.  Heads are very tender with a mild flavor.

Patriot (72 days to maturity) – This variety produces good yields and is a great choice for home gardeners.  Most of these seeds have a resistance to Downy Mildew.

Premium Crop (55 days to maturity) – These will yield bright blue-green heads with small buds and will produce many side shoots after the main harvest.

My preferences are the latter two…Patriot…and Premium Crop.

Broccoli, a cool weather vegetable, is next to impossible to grow by starting seeds directly in the garden so, buy the seeds…then go through the 3-step process…starting at least six weeks before the last frost.

For a detailed description of each of these 3 steps:

  1. Germinating the seeds.
  2. Transplanting the germinations.
  3. Hardening off the seedlings.

Then, you’ll be ready to plant…just after the last frost.

 

Sunshine on My Broccoli Makes Me Happy

They need 6 to 8 hours of sun per day.

When do you plant broccoli?

Broccoli’s ideal temperature range is 65 °F (18 °C) to 80 °F (27 °C).  If the temperature gets below 40 °F (4 °C) for a couple of weeks, the chill may set off the heads to form earlier than you want them to.  Too hot?  You’ll get the same early head formations!  Broccoli is definitely a finicky little plant, isn’t it?

Mix up a 50/50 concoction of dirt and potting soil in a 5-gallon bucket and add about a half cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Plant the seedlings that you have hardened off, using the 50/50 mixture, in tilled, loose soil (at least 8 inches deep).  Space them about 18 inches apart.

Water well and keep their soil moist (not soggy)…water them daily for the first week or so…at least until the seedlings grow a few inches to ensure that their roots are winding their way through the soil.  Then, as long as they get water every 3 or 4 days (at least an inch of water a week), they will do fine.

 

Pruning and Mulching

As the summer heats up, the plants will begin to look tired and worn out.  Insects will begin to chew up the leaves.  You may think the plant is dead and gone.  But wait!  Don’t throw it away.  Get in there and yank out as many bad leaves as you can find, keep it watered well, and watch the broccoli rejuvenate and begin producing more heads.

Some gardeners will remove the first head after it forms to encourage offshoots that will produce additional heads, also.

And, don’t forget to mulch around the plants to preserve the soil moisture and discourage weed growth.  Weeds are always a strong competitor with vegetables in the garden for the soil nutrients.

 

Harvesting Beautiful Broccoli Heads with Those Elegant Floret Buds

Broccoli head with tight floret buds.

When the florets on the broccoli head start to loosen up a bit…but, the head is still mostly tight and green, remove the head by cutting the stem at an angle.  The angle cut helps prevent disease and the stem will begin to produce smaller heads.  Thus, you will prolong the harvest for most of the growing season.

NOTE:  If you wait too long to harvest, the florets will start to yellow and become tough and less flavorful.  So, keep an eye on the plants and pick the heads when they are ready…not two weeks later.

 

Pests and Diseases

Cabbage Worm.

The dreaded cabbage worm is the sworn enemy of broccoli.  Plant some borage or crow garlic nearby to repel these critters.

Cabbage root maggots can also take their toll on the poor broccoli plant.  Discourage them with artemisias, radish, or thyme.

Otherwise, if you do not plan on adding some Plants That Repel Bad Bugs and Attract Good Bugs, you will be resorting to a good insecticide when the critters strike.

Downy Mildew is the most prevalent disease that attacks broccoli.  Control it with a good fungicide.

 

The Last Word

Broccoli son: “Dad, no one likes me.  What can I do?”

Broccoli dad: “Wear some cheese, son!  I guarantee that you will be very popular!”

 

Get the S.P.I.R.I.T. and broccoli-up your life!

 So what are your experiences with growing and eating broccoli?  Let me know in the comments below or email me: jim@perfect-vegetable-garden.com.

Jim

 

NOTE: For all the scientific names and intricate details, visit Broccoli – Wikipedia.

4 thoughts on “Broccoli – The 5th Most Popular Veggie In The World

  1. isaac Reply

    Great article on one of my favorite vegetables Jim. I like the chewy and non leafy texture of it that’s unlike any other vegetables. I never know that outs also a negative calorie food. Now that’s a good reason to start eat more of these things.

    While I like the idea of growing my crops myself, unfortunately I don’t have enough land area in my home. Is it possible to grow then in a pot or case instead?

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Isaac,

      I’m glad you enjoyed my broccoli page.  It’s one of the crops I consistently plant every year in my backyard garden.

      Broccoli is well-suited for container planting.  As long as you give it at least a 3-gallon pot, your broccoli will be very happy!

      Jim

  2. Linda Reply

    I actually love broccoli which sounds like a good thing when it is such a healthy veggie. Thank you for all great information here, I did not know about the storage temperatures, I usually keep it in the fridge…
    I would like to grow my own broccoli, but haven’t tried it yet, might do next summer, would be cool:) in Sweden I think the one with 50 days maturity sounds like a good idea.

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Yep…broccoli is a very healthy vegetable.  But, you definitely want to store it in the refrigerator.

      Clean broccoli (head down) in a salt water solution for 30 minutes.  Thoroughly rinse and store in the refrigerator…in a sealed storage container.  Raw broccoli can be kept in the fridge up to several weeks before deteriorating.  Cooked broccoli will usually last about a week refrigerated.

      The temperatures mentioned in this article refer to the “growing” temperature range…and what happens to the broccoli plants when temperatures fall outside this range.

      Thanks, for stopping by.  Check back often for more new and informative articles!

      Jim

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