Organic Seed Alliance is pleased to share a new resource for Pacific Northwest (PNW) growers looking to add or scale-up purple sprouting broccoli in their operations. The newly published Purple Sprouting Broccoli: A Guide to Growing for Fresh Market and Seed in the Pacific Northwest is available for free in our resource library.
The new guide provides production and marketing information, as well as inspiration for growing purple sprouting broccoli greens, sprouts, and seeds in the PNW and comparable climates. Included are general cultivation and marketing tips to support successful production and sales of purple sprouting broccoli for growers new to the crop or considering increasing production and expanding sales.
Overwintered Crop for Fresh Market
The specialty crop is uniquely suited to growing regions with mild winters, like the PNW, where temperatures don’t drop below 15-20°F on average. Planted in late summer and left to overwinter in the field, purple sprouting broccoli plants produce an abundance of tender stems with bright purple sprouts starting in late February and producing through early May.
The harvest window of late winter and early spring makes purple sprouting broccoli standout in the marketplace when little diversity in fresh produce is available and overwintering storage crops are waning. Not only does this timing provide eaters with a new and fresh local food after a winter of storage crops, it provides farmers with income during a time when farm expenses are high with purchasing of the yearly supply of seeds, soil, amendments, and fertility products.
Growing for Seed in the Pacific Northwest
Like other Brassica crops, purple sprouting broccoli is a prolific seed producer in the PNW and uniquely well suited to growing at market scale. Certified organic PSB seed is extremely limited in the commercial seedscape, with only one variety available as certified organic seed. The combination of the mild winter climate and increasing market demand and interest, creates an opportunity for more production of PSB for market sales and seed in the region.