This here stalk of brussels sprouts has been the cause of so much excitement all summer long. It was our first true harvest of brussels sprouts after years of planting and not reaping. They weren’t as big as the brussels sprouts you can snatch a bag of at Costco, but they carried so much more value. When we work and we toil for our food in this ever-patient way, we foster such a profound gratitude to the earth, to the rain, to the sun, to God for these plants and this food. It can be easy to lose this frame of mind, but not with these brussels sprouts. After years of trying, and literally going without eating brussels sprouts, every bite from the communal bowl was a reminder of the miracle of producing food from a tiny seed.
You see, I’ve casually attempted to grow brussels sprouts almost every year since converting the lawn into a garden six years ago. Every year my attempt fails, and it’s such a hard disappointment to swallow.
For one thing, they take soooooooo long to grow. Its not like planting lettuce when ten days later you realize your seeds didn’t germinate and you should start more. It is more like “ok, the entire season has gone by, I guess these will not be producing sprouts.” At least the leaves are edible because what a waste of space! These plants are HUGE! We love brussels sprouts, so in my naive beginner zeal, I gave a rather large fraction of the brassica bed to these plants. Growing wiser with my space usage, each year I have planted fewer and fewer. This year, I planted only two brussels sprouts plants… and we finally got one large stalk of sprouts! Seriously, the going rate for these at the farmers market is way too cheap.
Tossed in olive oil and salt, roasted in the oven, this bowl didn’t last long with our family.
What did you grow this year that you were excited about?