I used to think purple sprouting broccoli was a bit pretentious. Having grown it last year and enjoyed many a meal of succulent tasty attractive flowerheads ( for that is what the sprouts are), I now most humbly apologise for any offence caused. I now admit to being a dedicated fan of purple sprouting broccoli.

Any kind of green vegetable in January is a welcome addition to a meal. I had been pinching the odd leaf of one or two broccoli plants to steam as I would cabbage leaves. The plants which I left undisturbed are now sprouting forth attractive purple flowerheads. From last year I know these sprouts can be harvested, and more sprouts will growing their place to keep me sated for months to come. This is a plant which keeps on giving. It has quite a large footprint with the leaf cover it throws out. Now I realise that those leaves are the ‘solar panels’ it needs to grow those succulent sprouts. With low light levels in winter, the leaf cover has to be large enough to catch whatever light is around. The purple sprouting broccoli season has begun – long live it!


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