Season of sprouts
If you’ve become accustomed to hauling in harvest, and are not yet ready to give up your garden, be sure to plant Brussels Sprouts to extend your vegetable garden enjoyment.
Wait, wait, hold on! Don’t click away so fast! Sure, sprouts are consistently named to “most hated vegetable” lists, but most naysayers are concerned with this veggie's strong smell and bitter taste. But we have a trick to getting better flavor and sweetness from your sprouts – hit ’em with a bit of frost!
That’s right. These mini-cabbage heads actually improve in taste when exposed to freezing temperatures. Burpee varieties like Franklin and new Royal Marvel can be enjoyed cooked or raw. However, take note: This is definitely a long-season crop, so you have to commit to a lengthy growing season (plant in spring, harvest in fall) if you live in northern climates. For gardeners in mild-weather states, you can grow your Brussels Sprout plants as a fall or winter crop and harvest throughout the winter.
To harvest Brussels Sprouts, pick the lowest sprouts on the stem and remove the accompanying leaves (without removing the top foliage). Twist the sprouts off the stem, gathering only as many as you need at one time. The remaining sprouts will keep on the plants through part of the winter (you can even pick when snow’s on the ground!).
Store your sprouts in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, or steam, boil or cook them in recipes like the ones found here. How ever you prepare them, Brussels Sprouts offer a long season of gardening, and a high-nutrition choice when expanding your vegetable-growing palatte.