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Veg of the Month: Brussels Sprouts

Veg of the Month: Brussels Sprouts

It’s that time of year again: the Marmite of vegetables has reappeared, turning the Christmas dinner table into a canvas of cabbage-y conflict! But these doll’s house brassicas also cause divisions between farmers. So, upon whichever side of the sprout divide you find yourself, read on to discover the real battle, one that we fought (and once lost) at The Farm.
Here's a word from John English, our Head Grower:
I love Brussels sprouts. Both the sprouts themselves and the sweet and tender leaves of their tops - one of the best cabbage leaves for you – are a treat. But they can be a frustratingly tricky crop to grow. About five years ago, after several seasons of disappointing results, we decided to stop growing them ourselves and source them instead from other local, organic growers.

In our experience, sprouts had a particular attraction for every sort of pest and disease that can afflict a brassica: slugs, snails, pigeons, aphids, root fly, caterpillars, mildew and moulds, they all love nothing better than a sprout plant that’s been sitting around in the field for months.

Why months? Sprouts take a long time to mature. You plant them out in May or June and patiently wait to harvest them in the winter. Getting the timing right on a crop that takes 6 months to mature, that everyone wants for only about 2 weeks of the year, isn't easy!

Harvesting sprouts is tough, too. Spare a thought for the hardy souls who have to snap thousands of individual sprouts from their stems on a freezing cold December morning, all by hand, and then most likely have to peel off the outer layer of every one of them, to get rid of rotten leaves and the unsightly work of the slugs.

So enjoy your sprouts this December, as a lot of time and work will have gone into getting them from the seed packet to your plate.

My favourite way to eat sprouts? You can't beat crunching into one raw and fresh, picked straight off the plant, out in the field on a bright and cold winter morning. The flavour is amazing.

Do we deliver to you?

We deliver to Bristol, Bath, Chew Valley, Weston-Super-Mare, Frome and plenty of places in-between!