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Worms on my beloved broccoli!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have begun to harvest the broccoli that I've been looking forward to all fall. I have big, beautiful, green heads that are just begging me to munch them! We already ate one head and it's amazing. HOWEVER.....

As I was blanching some to freeze today and putting the pieces out to cool, I saw a few, shall we say, crispy critters still clinging on to the flower part of the head. I'm so glad that I chopped the heads up before I froze them or else I wouldn't have seen them! They were your garden variety nasty little bald worms. I have a phobia about these suckers- they were on our corn, and dp had to shuck it all herself because I couldn't bear to look at them. I went through all the broccoli as thoroughly as I could (hands shaking all the while I'm such a baby!).

Question is, what do you think is the best way to sort through and find these little guys? I'm 99% sure I must have already had some extra protein with that first head since I didn't even look, but for me, this ruins my appetite for broccoli. Think they just fall out when you cook it, since they can't very well hang on when they're already medium rare?

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 7
I don't have any suggestions for this time, but I just heard (maybe somewhere else on the boards) that you can protect brocolit from bugs by putting an old stocking over the growing plant. Maybe that will help for next year.

The only time I tried to grow broccoli ot was decomated by snails.
post #3 of 7
Gettem out!!!

Sister, that is prime protien!!!! not to mention karmic law!! they eat your broccoli, you eat them.

hehe, sorry not much advice other than to blanch it well (you know what they were eating so that should make you feel better). THe dead bugs should float to the top.

I think it would be fun to ID them and learn about them. I find that when I get totally creeped out by a bug, if I learn about them I am not longer creeped by them.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ha! Chanley, I've never considered the karmic ramifications of all this. I have to admit that I did take a mild amount of satisfaction in chucking the little guys in the compost pile post-blanching.

Learning about them might be a good strategy- I wouldn't feel better about probably having eaten some, but hey, they are supposedly the superfood of the future.

rsps, I'm really interested in your stocking idea! I would imagine that buying the largest pair of them and then slipping them over the plants, tying at the bottom, and leaving to grow might just work. I'll have to give it a shot on next season's veggies (not to mention figure out something similar on spring's corn!)
post #5 of 7
Soak the broccoli in a salt water solution before blanching. Or, just blanch the broccoli. They should float out of the crown. To prevent future problems, dust the plants with natural diotomaceous earth (NOT the same thing as what is used for pools). Spray the plants with a compost/garlic/hot pepper tea to discourage the worms and increase the plants' resistance to the worms (unhealthy plants, unhealthy soil makes plants susceptible to plant predators. It's nature's way of weeding out weak plants). Put lots of compost in the soil to build the health of the soil.
post #6 of 7

Hi neighbour!

I'm in Richmond......
Not a big broccoli fan here but just fill your sink with cold water, chuck in a handful of table salt and soak it for awhile. The little suckers will float right to the top. Isn't it amazing they are the exact colour as broccoli???
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's advice- I'll be picking the remainder today, so I'll definitely try the salt water trick.

lapinagile- good to hear from another va person! Hope you enjoyed the beautiful weekend!
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