George grows 12 varieties of purple sprouting broccoli over 2 growing seasons; from March to mid December it's grown in Lincolnshire, and from December to the end of February, the Isle of Wight provides the ideal growing location, with its higher island winter temperatures. George says, ‘Purple sprouting broccoli has to be picked and packed by hand, so the harvesting operation is very labour intensive and therefore expensive.'
It is also very sensitive to changing temperatures. It grows quickly in warm weather but very slowly when it is cold. This can make it difficult to balance the supply of the broccoli with the demand for it. ‘The broccoli itself makes it all worth it,' says George, ‘it is such a tender vegetable full of flavour. My favourite way to enjoy it is to blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 45 seconds, season it with salt and pepper and a little drizzle of olive oil, then roast for 10 minutes.'
For further information on Staples Vegetables visit staplesvegetables.co.uk