Well this is a bit of an embarrassing surprise. Back in July, we ordered a bag of broccoli seeds from a certain seed company who we’ll attempt to keep anonymous. At the time, we were planning to grow some fall veggies, but also add those same plants to our microgreens lineup. The seeds came a few days later and we soon got broccoli (or so we thought) into our microgreens rotation at the market. And it has generally been selling well. We’ve done 5″x5″ live trays and occasionally have clamshells of pre-cut product. The microgreens look great… similar to kale in height, color, grow time, etc.
In August, we did three rounds of fall veggie planting in our garden. The broccoli seeds were in that lineup, along with arugula, beets, carrots, and kale. First planting would’ve been around August 5th or so, last one around Labor Day.
Fast forward a couple months. Our first row of veggies (the ones planted August 5th) didn’t go all that well. We got some arugula and some beets from that row, but not much from any of the other varieties. But row 2 was better and row 3 was better still.
But where was the broccoli? We’ve never grown broccoli before, so we figured maybe we had just planted it too late in the season and the colder fall temps had slowed the growth, etc. We were seeing huge, healthy-looking leaves, but no little broccoli trees in the center of the plant. Well, a couple days ago, we were installing a Curtis Stone -style poly low tunnel in the garden, and we were staring at the broccoli again wondering what was up and we suddenly came to the realization that we hadn’t been growing broccoli at all…. it was kohlrabi. Rather than the little green trees in the center, there were purple cabbage-like balls. We had been sent an entirely wrong bag of seeds. All this time, we’ve been assuming we’ve been growing and selling Waltham 29 broccoli and, in fact, we’ve been growing and selling what we believe to be purple Vienna kohlrabi.
Now, we’ve been generally happy with the service and products from this particular seed company, so we don’t want to just throw them under the bus. It’s obviously a non-trivial mistake, though apparently broccoli seeds are virtually indistinguishable from kohlrabi seeds, AND as broccoli and kohlrabi are both in the same species (Brassica oleracea), they have very similar nutritional qualities. We’re going to be contacting the seed company shortly to relay all of this information to them and see what we can do about getting a no-joke bag of broccoli seeds. But we want to humbly apologize to anyone who bought “broccoli” microgreens from us these past few months, as you almost certainly bought kohlrabi microgreens instead. Had we grown true broccoli in the past, we might have noticed differences at the microgreens stage of growth (vs. adult) and caught the problem earlier. Hopefully today’s confession doesn’t ruffle too many feathers, but if so, let us know and we can see what we can do to try to make it right.
Looking ahead, we still have a good amount of these kohlrabi seeds, so we’re going to continue growing them, but we’ll obviously be correcting our labeling, market table signage, and so forth. The last we heard, there will be no December 7 market, which means 11/16 and 11/23 will be our last market dates this season before we do a holiday break. We then plan to return for the winter market on January 11.
Hope to see everyone on Saturday! Come out and sample our kohlrabi microgreens! 🙂