Baby broccoli is a traditional McGrath Family Farm staple going back over the years, and we are proud to continue growing it! Before becoming an integral leader in the new McGrath Family Farmers Collaborative, Farmivore co-owner Mike Roberts worked on the farm as a field worker. He says Baby Broccoli was one of his favorite crops to harvest, which is one reason he’s included it in the crop rotation on his new 20 acres at the Ranch.
Interesting facts: since broccoli plants grow upright about 3 feet off the ground, the harvest team can pick the florets without bending over! Also, once the initial central floret is harvested, the plant forms multiple “side-shoot” florets over the next 3-6 weeks, allowing for an abundant continuous harvest from the same plant! When planted closely together, the tall leafy plants shade out weeds, protecting the soil from excessive sun and wind (saves water) and practically eliminating the need to weed within the rows.
Baby Broccoli is tender, delicious, and nutritious. The whole thing is edible, floret, stem, and leaves. As part of the cruciferous vegetable family (Brassicas), it has cancer-fighting properties, and a reasonable amount of vitamin C.Since it is more tender in its “baby” stage, I recommend sautéing or eating raw instead of steaming as my preferred cooking method. If you do steam it, do it for only 3-5 minutes. It’s amazing added to stir fry, or gently sautéing in butter and garlic and served over rice, over a steak, or stirred into mashed potatoes. Chop it and add it to a soup in the last 15 minutes of cooking. Or chop it into a salad for some tender crunch and flavorful leaves. The possibilities are endless!