Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli
'Early Purple Sprouting' broccoli.

Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

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Over-wintering with many small purple heads.
Early Purple Sprouting

200 days — Instead of being developed to put all of its energy into producing a single, densely packed head as is popular on today's produce stands, 'Early Purple Sprouting' broccoli produces loads of shoots, each with small purple heads, lending itself to longer and more abundant harvests. The photographs above were taken on our farm on April 2 and are of plants that were over-wintered in our field. If you look at the photo of the whole plant, you can see that we did no cultivation and not only did the plants compete successfully with the weeds, they also produced loads of food! A treat to have fresh produce that early in the year in our neck of the woods.

A very old variety, 'Early Purple Sprouting' broccoli was historically for over-wintering for spring harvesting. It was once quite popular and grown extensively throughout Europe. According to  MM. Vilmorin-Andrieux in "The Vegetable Garden" (1885), there were more than forty different forms grown in England alone. Each packet contains 0.5 gram, which is approximately 125 to 175 seeds.
I plant lots of things and then forget where I put where, so it's always a surprise. I planted this in a raised bed and kept wondering why such a huge, beautiful broccoli plant wasn't producing any heads. Thankfully, I didn't pull it up, but left it to overwinter in the garden. By early March, it produced pretty purple tops for us to munch on. They were a little sweet, without any of the pungency that broccoli can sometimes have. Even my vegetable hating sons loved it, so I'll definitely be growing more. It was worth the wait!
Did you find this helpful?  8 of 8 Found Helpful
Reviewed by:  from McMinnville, OR. on 7/13/2013
Not for our climate
I grew these over the winter, starting around August. The plant went to seed, but never formed heads. It did taste very sweet, including the young leaves, and if the weather was colder over here I would definitely grow it again.
Did you find this helpful?  7 of 8 Found Helpful
Reviewed by: (Verified Buyer)  from Pomona, CA. on 5/16/2014
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