Thursday, February 16, 2012

Seeds, Broccoli & Play

I have been sorting the broccoli seeds that were blocking the back door. Amazing how those huge branches of siliques can take up so much space, I harvested the dried out seeds before some storms came through and they have been awaiting my attention. 
At first I sat down with the little one and tried splitting them one by one.  A good exercise in developing fine motor skills.  Unfortunately the wind came, blew the sheet of paper I was collecting the seeds on in the air,  sending seeds everywhere.  Note to self - whilst sorting seed seems like a pleasant outdoor activity, it is not practical, seeds are light and easily lost. On my second attempt I grabbed a bucket and a potato masher and crushed the papery siliques in the bucket so they released their seeds. Then it was just a quick seive to remove the chaff.

If I get really fussy I might winnow the seeds.

These are primarily for sprouting however I may grow some in the garden.
The original plants were from a nursery punnet so i'm not sure what they are and if they're hybrids.  A close friend grew some this way and the broccolli never produced heads.  I threw the seed chaff around my cucumbers and noticed today that some of the unsorted seeds are coming up.

We currently have plenty of broccoli to eat
I used the peg technique for the first time. I have used this with great success on cauliflower.
 This helped keep the heads lovely and fresh and slightly blanched - some have grown so large they were popping their pegs off. They grow so quickly this time of year.

the carrot seeds are also ripening.
 The little Bowerbird and I had a wonderful time playing with artichoke seed, I am just smitten with those purple flowers. Too pretty to eat.


Artichokes are worth growing just for the joy of playing with their wonderful fairy seeds.  you can make wishes on them, see how long you can keep them in the air, and just enjoying their silky and spiky feel.


  1. Love the simple joys that nature gives. I adore purple artichokes - so beautiful

  2. Such sweet pictures! I smiled at the image of the breeze catching your seeds.

    Please tell, what would winnowing be? I love your technique of mashing then sieving the seeds/chaff! :)

  3. Winnowing seed is when you take your seed into the breeze and use the air to remove the lighter debris. It leaves behind perfectly clean seed - you can even use a puff of breath - not suitable for all species - eg. artichokes and definitely not suitable on days such as the wild one we had today.

  4. Love your photos capturing little fairys fun, such a simple pleasure.


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young