Husker Hort

A Nebraska View of Horticulture

Never say never…

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I had never been a fan of Brussels sprouts. The only ones I had growing up were bitter, mushy, frozen balls of nasty (can you tell just how much I didn’t like them). I grew up in a house where you took as many bites of a vegetable for every year old you were, Brussels sprout days were really rough.

Enough about my childhood, fast forward to this spring. While shopping for transplants for our garden, there where the dreaded sprouts in the nursery. I let our 2 year old son help me pick out what veges we would grow in our garden and you guessed it, he picked the Brussels sprouts.

Not wanting to dash his dreams of growing the veges he picked out, we got the sprouts. I feel that it is important for my child to grow the vegetables we eat so he can make the connection between the garden and what is on his plate… SO we got the Brussels sprouts.

In terms of vegetables, they are one of the easiest ones I have grown. The only issue we had were the cabbage worms, which were fairly easy to control.

I was told the key to Brussels sprouts was to wait until after the first frost before picking the tiny cabbages. After our first frost, we picked a few sprouts.

The good news about these vegetables is that they can handle the cool temperature until it drops into the 20’s , extending the harvest.

With the impending polar vortex and drop in temperatures, the time had come to harvest the plants.

I removed the sprouts from the stalks, took off the outer leaves, then placed the sprouts in salted water. This is just in case I wasn’t as good at cabbage worm control as I thought.

I consider our Brussels sprout experiment a success. My son might not love them yet, but I have to say they are not as bad as I previously thought. I am having fun trying the sprouts in different recipes.

So never count any vegetables out, and never say never.

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Author: Elizabeth Killinger

A Nebraska Extension Educator out of Hall County with a focus in horticulture and sustainable landscapes.

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