I made it almost whole life without ever tasting a Brussel sprout until a recent trip to meet up with a farmer who grows the little green balls! (He actually grows some of them to be used on Rose Parade floats which is really exciting and something I’ll share with you as the event gets closer.
I am lucky to be the producer of HGTVs coverage…but that’s another blog series!) This is about these gross little green things that have made me gag my entire life. I hated them so much when I was younger that I would choose to lose my dessert for not only a day but a week to avoid eating a single Brussel sprout.
However I was forced to rethink my dislike of them when the farmer handed me one and said take a bite. It was fresh straight from the stalk. Instead of eating them cooked with a bunch of butter or oil, I took a bite of one while I was in the garden and I’m happy to report it was YUMMY! It tasted a bit like cabbage. It was another reminder to live by what I preach to my kids. “Even if you don’t like it now, you might like it later!”
Brussel sprouts are the strangest looking vegetables I’ve ever seen in the garden. They like cool weather and do better in areas where the summers are not long, hot and dry. The stem of the plant grows little tiny cabbage looking heads which is the actual vegetable. This is a really great thing to grow with children because there are so many imaginative worlds and stories that can be inspired by the crazy looking stalks.
The trick to a good tasting Brussel sprout is making sure you pick them at just the right time. If you pick them too late they can taste bitter, which is probably why most people don’t like them. Look for Brussel sprouts that are about one inch in size. That’s almost the same size as a nickel or small paperclip! Be sure to harvest at the base of the stem first and work your way up. Twist off the sprouts by hand!
It’s bragging day! I’m bragging about our big fat pumpkins!
And to think they started from one tiny seed just a few months ago. When we first started our garden, I was told by a “garden guru” to be sure to include pumpkins. He said, they’re easy to grow and boy was he right!
Pumpkins are like orange monsters that come in all types, colors and sizes. We planted seeds that were labeled Giant Pumpkins hoping they’d grow BIG!
Pumpkin vines love having tons of room to sprawl out. After 10 weeks, the first flowers start to bloom. They’re usually yellow and big. The bees often cruise by and help pollinate the pumpkins. And then you see it! The small pumpkin starts to form.
In late July and August the pumpkins start to pop up all over the place. The orange balls start to grow at super speed. By the end of August, it’s like having our very own pumkin-mania! Totally cool.
I feel very proud of our great big fat pumpkins. The jumbo pumpkins are so big I can’t do anything with them but smile at them!
I do know that people enter their giant pumpkins into contests and perhaps next year we’ll try to win a blue ribbon at the state fair but until then we’re just going to enjoy sitting around with our pumpkins!
Recently we talked about growing sunflowers and how much fun they can be to grow with kids. (CLICK HERE to learn more if you missed that video.)
Harvesting sunflower seeds can be as much fun as watching the flower grow!
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