Monday, November 1, 2010

Sprouts and Company, Inc.

Yesterday was the Brussels sprouts harvest.  The two eldest monkeys pitched in, offering their Herculean strength to help carry the green DNA-esque trees up to the house.  I whacked the sprout plants down, Graham loaded them onto the wheel barrow, and Owen pushed the barrow and unloaded the logs onto the porch. 

I planted two different varieties of sprouts this year.  The stalks shown above are an heirloom variety, Roodnerf, from seeds I purchased from Fedco.

These stalks are Jade Cross hybrid, from seedlings I bought at the local nursery.  Obviously, a much better yield.

A little bit of worm damage, but not too bad.

I sat on the steps of the porch to snap the sprouts from their stalks.  It was a cold job on a cold day, but I had some company.

Benjamin came outside and hopped from bare foot to bare foot, until he quickly decided it was just too cold and ran back inside.

The cats feigned interest in the sprouts, but I think it was just a ruse to get closer to my mug of hot cocoa.

One of our Steve McQueen roosters came over for a visit.  (Steve McQueen because several of the more brazen roos have managed to escape the fenced stalag of the chicken pasture.  They fly over the fence, to and fro, with blatant ease.)  I threw him a few stunted sprout bits, but he wasn't interested.

After all the sprouts were picked, the chaff went to the goats.  They were most pleased, and stuffed themselves silly.

From our 4' x 10' garden bed, we harvested roughly five gallons of sprouts.  Next steps:  clean, sort, blanch and freeze.  And look forward to savoring them with melted butter on a cold winters eve.


Erin said...

Jo, I'm not a fan of brussels sprouts, but to be fair, have only tried them once and they weren't from my garden. This year I planted some because if nothing else they are magnificent plants to look at! Love to see you post how you cook them because I have no clue but I'm willing to try since I'm growing them! Cute photos.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Wow! We plant them every year and never have I seen the yields that you got! That is amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Impressive! Those will be great roasted for the winter. Do the boys like them?

I planted a purple heirloom one year and did not get great results--wondering if those old varieties do better in the Pacific Northwest.


Karen said...

I fondly remember harvesting a few stalks with you a few weeks ago! They were ohsoyummy!!! I believe I had fourths for dinner!!! What a great time Bethany and I had! Thanks again, Sis!

Jo said...

Hey Erin -- The sprouts we grow in the garden are soooo much better than storebought. The small ones are so sweet! My four-year-old always asks for seconds. Good luck -- let us know how the sprouts perform in your mid-Atlantic climate.

Hello Apple Pie Gal! Thanks, it was a good year for sprouts!

Howdy Flying Tomato -- I've never tried roasting brussel sprouts, but it sounds divine! I've heard heirloom brussel sprouts overall aren't that great production-wise. Oh well, that won't stop us from trying them. I can't save sprout seed, so I can experiment with different types. Thanks!

Hey Karen! Thank you! We had a great time with you and Bethany too. I was so pleased when you took fourths! Made me realize maybe I can grow something tastey (to other folks besides myself!) in the garden. And thanks for helping with the cleaning and cutting. It saved me a TON of time!