The edible parts of broccoli are the compact clusters of unopened flower buds and the attached stem. Young tender leaves are also edible. The green buds develop a central head and possibly several smaller side shoots. Cut the central head with 5 to 6 inches of stem. The head should be firm to hand pressure, compact, and all the buds should be closed. When yellow flower petals appear, the prime harvest period has passed.

Removing the central head generally stimulates the side shoots in the axils of the lower leaves to develop for later pickings. Continue to harvest broccoli for several weeks. Broccoli develops best in cooler temperatures, so it can be planted in spring for summer harvest and in fall for winter harvest.

Use Storage Method 1. Broccoli will store for 10 to 14 days.

Nutrition note: 1/2 cup cooked broccoli contains 22 calories and 2 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamins C (97% DV) and A (22% DV) and a good source of folate (10% DV). Color = green.

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