Look What I Found At The Allotment Yesterday – An Unexpected Cauliflower


As vegetables go, cauliflowers are sneaky entities. I could swear there were no signs of this one a few days ago. In fact  when I ventured to lift the protective mesh to give the outer leaves a prod, I decided it was probably a cabbage. It and the four other ‘cabbages’ were looking pretty healthy too – an astonishing feat after three lots of winter snow and months of never ending rain.

I bought the seedling plants on line in October from Delfland Nursery, along with sprouting broccoli plugs which have also grown strongly and served us well. I’ve used this company several times, and they are brilliant when you have forgotten to think ahead and sow for autumn and winter crops. Or just forgotten.

Anyway, after the long overwintering I thought the ‘cabbages’ deserved a feed and gave them the last of some vintage homemade comfrey liquor which I discovered in the polytunnel during an unlikely phase of tidying. That was a couple of days ago. And look what happened. I’m going to try for giant beanstalks next, though promise not to facilitate the advent of any outsize fee-fi-fo-fumming individuals. A hen that lays golden eggs might be fun though.

copyright 2018 Tish Farrell

35 thoughts on “Look What I Found At The Allotment Yesterday – An Unexpected Cauliflower

  1. I love this!! My one attempt at growing cauli was such an abysmal failure and the surprise existence of this beautiful,specimen renews my faith. And makes me think of spice roasted cauli with almonds. Or a nice cheesy gratin.

    1. Oh yum to the spice roasted cauli. There’s another nearly ready to pick. I’m sad to say we’ve already eaten the one in the photo – in a mascarpone, parsley and goat’s cheese sauce – served with re-fried field beans from the freezer. The thing about caulis, I’ve learned, is that they need to be very firmly rooted when planted out, otherwise they won’t make a head. And by firmly planted I mean stamp the ground all round after a good watering in. On our allotment you also have to catch them before earwigs graze the curds.

      1. Yum; that sauce sounds wonderful. Thanks for the advice; I tend to be a bit slapdash about planting. … Must have more patience, must have more patience…

    1. When it comes to the allotment good luck is always welcome. Whenever I smell fresh coriander, I always think of Kenya. Used to buy it in fat bunches at the N’bi greengrocers. Maybe not so available in Embu though? Lots of sukuma no doubt.

  2. Now that is a pleasant surprise. What a beauty! Cauliflower over winter, I wonder if I dare. I am rather partial to it. And my winter growing attempt worked much better than my summer one.

    1. I had the bed of sprouting broccoli and caulis covered with enviromesh all winter. This kept off the pigeons, but at one stage I thought I’d lost the plants under the huge snow drift that landed on top. But no. They survived being buried for two weeks and squashed. I would have thought with your (mostly) milder climate in Cornwall you could do caulis. As I said to Su, they need to be well stamped into the ground when planted. And they like quite a rich soil.

      1. I had my spinach and winter leaves covered with netting all winter (mainly to keep the neighbour’s cat off it) and they did very well. Still picking the spinach! I might give it a go.

      1. Yes, I am pleased to have it in the garden; not sure about putting it my bath, although I have used comfrey ointment from time to time. That was nice on my skin.

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