Vegetable Thursday

Broccoli Waltham 29

Today I am going to journal about Waltham 29 Broccoli.

The seed packet give me the following information:
1) seed depth 1/4″
2) seed space 2″
3) sprouts in 7-10 days
4) plant space 18″-24″
5) matures in 65 days

I love broccoli!  I will be planting our broccoli in bed #1 this fall.  Bed #1 is a bed that faces north/south and is 4’x8′.  So this means I can plant two rows of broccoli on each side of the bed for a quantity of 4 plants on each side.  This gives me a total of 8 plants.  The germination is 7-10 days, so I will stagger the planting dates one week a part.

I start my seeds using 5 parts peat moss to 1 part perlite to ensure it is a sterile soil.

Here in Phoenix, AZ our first frost average date is December 11th each year.  So I need to plan to harvest prior to this date or have a plan in place to protect the broccoli from a hard freeze.

According to Urban Farms planting calendar here, I can begin planting seeds August 15th.  So my first seeds I will start August 15th and then every 7 days start another Waltham 29 Broccoli.  The broccoli starts will go into the garden beginning October 7th.

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Broccoli Investigation – Part 2

Arcadia Broccoli

My investigation began when I noticed the broccoli I was growing, Arcadia Broccoli, looked like cauliflower.  Then I wondered if it had been genetically altered in some way.  In order to grow a pure and clean Broccoli the temperatures must be between 50F to 73.4F.  If Broccoli is grown outside of these temperatures it is genetically modified in some way.  This is why I only grow broccoli in our fall and winter months.

Broccoli is in the top 10 crops of the United States with a market value of $700.  Top crops can be found here>>>>http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1858.  The rising fuel prices make it unaffordable to grow in one part of our country and ship it to the other side of the country and still be affordable to the average consumer.  Yet, it is consumer demands that is driving this market due to the health benefits of broccoli.

Most of the Broccoli you see in the grocery stores appear to be Packman Broccoli.  Packman seed belongs to Seminis.  Monsanto owns Seminis.  I don’t mind hybrids, as long as, it is done in nature and not in a lab, injected with chemicals or crossed with another plant that would not normally cross in nature.  Most of the broccoli we see on the market today are a hybrid of some sort.

My first experience at growing broccoli was with one called ‘De Cicco’ Broccoli.  I noticed it did not not look like the huge broccoli heads in the grocery stores, but didn’t matter because I knew it was an heirloom seed that had not been tampered with in a lab.  This past fall we experimented with other varieties of broccoli.  We tried Spring Raab Broccoli which was just to bitter for us.  The Arcadia Broccoli developed nice big heads.  I’m still researching the Arcadia Broccoli because it is in the hybrid category.  Here is a link to most, but not all broccoli.  If it is labelled with “F1”, it is a hybrid.

My conclusion at this point is to stay away from all “F1” crops in our garden until I can determine how it was created.

Arcadia Broccoli

Arcadia Broccoli

Arcadia Broccoli

This is our Arcadia Broccoli that we planted Fall 2014.  Which is about 138 days after we planted the seed.  It is funny how climate, soil conditions, temperature and sun can determine the outcome of our vegetable harvests.

Today I wanted to know a little more about this variety of Broccoli.  It performed well and looked a little closer to what is purchased in the grocery stores.  I don’t mind hybrids, as long as, they are not crossing over into other vegetables, animals/pests or pesticides.  I began to think about this and wondered, “What is this variety crossed with?”  So my search has begun.