Grow Your Own Food Challenge: A Sad First Harvest

Chinese broccoli

I promised to update you guys about my tiny container garden, for better or worse, and unfortunately I had a bit of a letdown late last week when I noticed that my Chinese broccoli had started to flower. According to my research, you are supposed to harvest before they flower, and it’s really important to get them before they go to seed.

I cut their little broccoli heads off and am hoping to get a second chance with these plants! If anyone has tips about growing Chinese broccoli, I’m all ears. At least that calendar reminder I mentioned is keeping me on track as far as watering everything. All of the other plants are doing well so far!

Determined to get at least something edible out of this situation, I pulled the flowers off and chopped up the broccoli into a salad. After tasting one of the leaves, I decided to leave those out. They were sort of bitter and unpleasant. Probably because I harvested too late! I wish I’d tasted the tops before putting them in the salad. They were sort of….polleny. Not very tasty. The stems were good, though.

salad with chinese broccoli
My first harvest salad with Chinese broccoli

After such a stellar review, I’m sure you want to hear about my first harvest salad! Here’s the recipe. Even with the less than delicious broccoli, it was a darned good salad!

Arugula and Chinese Broccoli Salad

Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 1/2c arugula, chopped
  • handful Chinese broccoli, chopped
  • handful pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 Haas avocado, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1T sesame oil
  • 1t rice vinegar

Cooking Directions

  1. Toss all of the ingredients into a large bowl.

  2. Eat!

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