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"Last night I was dreaming about broccoli,
I had only broccoli for my dinner,
It was funny in my tummy filled with broccoli and nothing else."
~Sophia, the 5 year old poetess~

My daughter's favorite vegetable is broccoli so this year we grew plenty. We have been on a regular streak of raw broccoli with our dinner at night. Normally we have a little side of good dressing to dip this cruciferous veggie in and we are ready to dig in.

In the past I have written about the numerous health benefits of this green flower head so I thought I would go with a different angle on this post. I did a bit of research on the plant and found out some interesting history, interesting in the sense that I am way too curious about plants.

The Italians are normally credited with the cultivation of broccoli but it goes a little further back, though my children's ancestors do play an interesting role in the appearance of the veggie in the States. In Asia Minor, what is now Turkey, they began cultivating cabbages which are a precursor of this unique veggie. Eventually through trade it made it's way to the central Roman Empire and thus the Italians.

In the U.S. Jefferson made records of growing broccoli, on May 27th, 1767 to be exact. . . . how's that for doing your homework, but it didn't really catch on in America until two Italian brothers began growing it in California in the 1920's and eventually shipping it east to Boston. It didn't take hold right away though, in fact the cartoonist E.B. White wrote a satirical piece about a mother trying to get her kids to eat their broccoli that read,

"It's broccoli dear."
"I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it!"

Well here we are nearly 100 years later and my kids love it! Give it a try in your garden next year it is a reasonably easy plant to grow that is a gold mine of nutrients!

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here


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