Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Broccoli Harvest - Finally!

Middle of April, I finally got some broccoli crowns. I think I figured out what I was doing wrong!

The Packman variety broccoli transplants were purchased locally and put into the ground around March 7. I ate my first broccoli around April 10.

Fall of 2009, I had grown transplants from seed that I started indoors. They grew huge and beautiful, but that's all. But I fertilized them too much with an organic fertilizer. I found out that by going overboard with feeding them, I gave them too much nitrogen that all went into leaf production.

But, it was worth making some mistakes to reach a milestone. And the broccoli was pretty good. Not great, but decent. I learned that broccoli should be harvested when the heads get about 3 or 4" in diameter, or when the buds on the head get the size of a matchstick's head. I also had some side shoots develop.

This spring the cabbage moths showed up late. I saw my first white moth fluttering around the broccoli around April 29. By that time, my broccoli was all but finished. Sorry! Try your best next time!

Do You Have Time for the Health Benefits of Vegetables?

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Vitamin D and How We Get More of It

I'm sure deficient in Vitamin D. My levels are way below what is normal. As I get out more in the sun and putter around in my garden, I need to make optimal use of those free rays.

I wrote an article on how to get more of the sunshine vitamin here:

Vitamin D: How to Get More of the Sunshine Vitamin

Friday, 5 March 2010

Agave Nectar

This sweetener, from the blue agave plant in Mexico, is probably my favorite sweetener. It is 25% sweeter than sugar, but does not cause blood sugar spikes.

It comes from the same plant as tequila. I never liked alcoholic beverages, except for tequila, so perhaps this spiky plant has more to recommend it than its appearance would indicate.

When the pinons ("pineapples" they call them) are cut off, they then extract a pulp which is heated and which releases the syrup.

I put agave nectar in my tea every morning. It can also be used in baking.

My article about blue agave is at:

Buy Agave Nectar in Bulk and Save

Rooibos Tea

Red bush tea, or rooibos, has become my favorite non-caffeinated tea. I think it tastes best cold, sweetened with agave nectar. But it's refreshing consumed hot as well.

I do wish that, around here, we had the red espresso. The idea of a completely caffeine-free espresso fascinates me.

My hub about red bush tea is at

Rooibos Tea: Holiday Time, Any Time

Rooibos tea has many antioxidants and there are some impressive scientific studies out there, even though most are animal studies.

I can't wait to see how it continues to be marketed in the U.S.