Deitrich's Wild Broccoli Rabe

ROUGHWOOD/EFN EXCLUSIVE. Directors of the Experimental Farm Network selected this exciting plant from the feral leaf turnips growing at the Deitrichs' farm in Salem County. They assume the plants escaped from an Italian farmer generations ago. Similar plants grow across the southern New Jersey region, but the plants at the Deitrichs' farm had already been informally selected by Chris & Sandy for years when EFN founders Nate Kleinman & Dusty Hinz took over selection. It's known locally as "wild broccoli raab", and some folks eat it every day it's in season -- and its season starts many weeks before anything else, often growing through snow. It's delicious raw or cooked (and especially good in scrambled eggs or just sauteed in some olive oil). A biennial, it is best planted in late Spring, but can be planted well into late Summer and still provide excellent "raabs" the following Spring. Even when it's not sending up the cut-and-come-again flower spikes from which it gets its name, the leaves make great cooking greens well into the Winter months. Thanks to the Deitrichs' wise stewardship of their land -- eschewing herbicides, leaving lots of land unmowed -- and love for this plant in particular, a strong population thrives in their corner of southern New Jersey. These seeds come from the most productive, earliest plants, selected in an effort to re-domesticate it with all of its best wild properties intact. That process will continue, but for now we're happy to offer you this gem. This variety carries the Open Source Seed Initiative Pledge. Grown ecologically in New Jersey by the Experimental Farm Network.


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