Broccoli, Blue Star Gai Lan (Organic)
Brassica oleracea. 45-60 days.
Our favorite variety of Chinese broccoli chosen from trials that included eight contestants. We like Blue Star’s moderately thick stems, incredible flavor, and easy-to-grow nature. Small plants send up stems up to 1″ thick, with small broccoli-like clusters on top. Due to the small stature, Gai Lan should be grown at tighter spacing than standard broccoli varieties. We recommend 4-6″ spacing in row. There are many tropically adapted varieties of Chinese broccoli and, unlike those, Blue Star was very happy in our temperate northern climate. The flavor is robust, somewhere between broccoli and collard greens. An essential and loved vegetable in many culinary traditions, Gai Lan deserves a spot in every garden. In Thailand, where it is known as kana, we have seen it served in pad see ew street noodles and stir fry. Also commonly found in Chinese, Vietnamese and Burmese cuisine. Gai Lan is also known as Chinese kale.
Seed produced by Deep Harvest Farm, on Whidbey Island, Washington.
As required by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Washington Crucifer Quarantine, all Brassica family seed lots have been tested and found negative for blackleg (Phoma lingam) by an approved, certified lab.
Sow indoors in flats with good potting soil February through July. Transplant into the garden about 3-4 weeks after sprouting, with rows spaced 10-12″ apart and plants spaced 4-6″ in-row. May also be direct sown. Harvest before the first flower buds open. A good choice for autumn gardens.
Collect seed from 50 or more early spring-sown plants when pods are dry. Dance on seed stalks on a tarp to thresh. Collect seeds and winnow to clean. Isolate when flowering from other flowering Brassicas of the same species, B. oleracea, by ½ mile.