Sometime mid to late July, I planted tiny round seeds from a packet that said “Broccoli.”
Within 7 days I noticed sprouts.
Now, I could have picked those little sprouts and sprinkled them on my salad. Nutritious and tasty, they would have been delicious.
But, it wasn’t sprouts I wanted. It was mature broccoli…the big broccoli bunches…that’s why I dug the ground, prepared the soil and planted the seeds.
And, I was willing to wait.
And, wait I did.
Here we are, first of November, and I’m still waiting.
Frosts and freezes have zapped the plants and toughened their resolve as they grow bigger, healthier…more robust.
With eagerness, I’ve peeked at the top of each broccoli stalk to see if anything was happening. And, each time I would be disappointed to find more new growth and no florets forming.
On the top of several stalks I saw baby broccoli florets forming. They were so cute. I wanted to break them off and eat them raw, fresh from the garden and warmed by the sun.
But, I didn’t. As tempted as I was to pick and taste, I kept my hands off and only gazed in wonder.
(Delayed gratification – that’s broccoli patience.)
How do broccoli plants know how and when to form those little floret heads?
Not that it matters…I’m just glad they do.
And, you can be certain that each day I will be watching the plants to see what progress they are making toward maturity – ever grateful that I was patient and didn’t settle for the sprouts, or the baby broccoli.
Daughter asked me, “How will you know when it’s time to pick it?”
I just smiled.
“Are you waiting until it looks like the broccoli in the store?” she quizzed.
With a twinkle in my eye, I remarked, “I’ll know – I’ll pick them when they’re big enough and tasty enough and tender enough.”
(That’s broccoli patience.)
I’ll know because I won’t be able to wait any longer. My desire to eat them will be greater than my desire to allow them to grow bigger.
(With each passing day, my broccoli patience grows thinner.)
Soon…mmm, steamed broccoli….