Broccoli **Our Farm - Chemical Free!**
A specialty of ours – we've been growing it for over 70 years! Broccoli (from the Italian piccoli bracci, meaning little arms) can be found growing wildly along the Mediterranean coast, where it originated. Part of the Brassicaceae family, try eating it raw, steamed and served with butter, or stir-fried.
How do we make sure we provide top quality broccoli?
Simple - we grow them ourselves! Sam draws on three generations of horticultural experience to grow broccoli that is crisp and delicious! When we harvest, we only hand-pick broccoli if it's young (that's when it's at its sweetest - if it's grown for too long, the natural sugars get converted into lignin, making the broccoli taste bland). We make sure the florets are firm and tightly closed (open florets are an indicator of age) and that the colour sits near to a dark green (a darker green indicates a higher beta-carotene and vitamin C content).
Where do we source our broccoli from?
Our broccoli usually comes direct from our farm - planted, cultivated and hand-picked by Sam and the team. When the conditions aren't favourable to growing broccoli on our farm (due to seasonality, crop rotation etc), we source broccoli from other cool climatic areas that have rich nutritious soil (such as around Werribee, or from other farms around Bacchus Marsh).
What is the best way to keep broccoli?
Broccoli stores well in the fridge, however if it's stored for too long, the natural sugars get converted to lignin, and the broccoli begins to taste bland. It is best kept in an open plastic bag, which provides a good balance between humidity and oxygen. Do not freeze broccoli, freezing leads to a degenerative disorder known as 'freezing injury', which will cause rapid decay once the broccoli is unfrozen. Broccoli should be washed before preparation rather than before storing.
Broccoli nutritional information
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C (both of which are antioxidants and help protect the body from degenerative disease), and a solid source of folate, vitamin E, potassium, phytochemicals sulforaphane and indoles (known to have significant anti-cancer effects), and beta-carotene. It's also low in calories and almost fat free.
Serving tips and suggestions
Broccoli can be eaten raw (serve as hors d'oeuvres or use florets in a salad), steamed, boiled or stir-fried. If cooking, make sure you don't overcook it - broccoli is best and most nutritious when it's served crisp. And don't throw away the stem – use it as stock in soups and juices!