Lifted the last of the purple sprouting broccoli yesterday. It has cropped amazingly well this year. It was turning up on every day's menu - not just as plain boiled broccoli, but thrown into curries and stir-fries and pasta sauces and soups... We almost hit the point of having too much - not something usually encountered when trying to 'grow your own'. Lots of the spears and some of the leaves have gone to help fill the freezer - neither of them actually cook very nicely as plain boiled veg after being frozen, but I do think they work okay in stir-fries and soups.
Most of this broccoli was common stuff, sown in the normal way last spring to crop this, but one super plant - the so-called broccoli tree - had been growing for 2 years. Last year it didn't put out any flower buds, so I just left it. Last summer, tomatoes and peas were planted round it. It just grew taller but still with no signs of actual broccoli on it. Several times, my husband threatened to pull it up but I insisted it was left. At last, in March, we saw the first signs of buds and all the long wait was worthwhile.