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Home » Gardening, Kitchen Tips

The Best Way To Get Worms Out Of Home Grown Organic Broccoli

Submitted by on June 6, 2011 – 4:24 am 6 Comments
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Hey guys!! I’m so glad you could join me, Jill, Amy, and Megan for another fun-filled Homestead Barn Hop! It has been so inspiring visiting everyone’s homesteads and seeing what you’ve all been up to! Keep the great ideas coming!

I harvested the first of our broccoli this past week! And let me tell you, it was SO flavorful. I don’t know why I was so surprised to find it so tasty, but I was. Something else that was surprising to me… the worms I found!

It wasn’t that I didn’t expect to find any worms on my broccoli. I shared with you last week that we’ve had some trouble with an infestation. But I didn’t realize how many worms there were in my broccoli florets, and I didn’t expect them to be so hard to spot!

Have you ever seen a broccoli worm? The green ones? If you have, you know they are exactly the same color as the broccoli they are on. And some of them are practically microscopic! I tried to show my husband how ridiculously hard it was to find the worms on our florets. But when I held up to his face a piece with a good sized critter on it, it took him forever to finally spot it! I laughed as he responded, “Yeah, I totally would have eaten that.

And then my problem was that my family was afraid to eat our broccoli. Even I was a bit hesitant. After picking over the broccoli several times, each time being positive I’d gotten all of the worms only to find another one hiding within the little buds, I was afraid I’d never get them all out.

I know some of you would have no trouble eating a little worm if you didn’t know it was there. But the very idea makes me gag.

Jerry ran to Home Depot to look for some BT to sprinkle on our broccoli and cabbage to try to help control the bugs. Unfortunately, they were out. But, there was a very helpful lady in the garden center who he spoke with. She raises her own organic garden at home, and recommended to him that I soak the broccoli in salt water before cooking it. She assured him that this would kill the worms, and they would fall off of the broccoli.

When he called me with this tip, I immediately filled a large bowl with cold water and sprinkled several teaspoons of salt into it. After soaking the broccoli florets for about 5 minutes or so, I pulled them out of the water and rinsed them off. And what do you know, there in the water were a few more teeny tiny worms floating in the bottom of the bowl! It worked!!

I was free to enjoy my broccoli!!

I steamed my first helping from our garden. It was delicious. Though, I couldn’t help examining each piece before putting it into my mouth. You know, just in case.

I’m so glad to have found a helpful tip for getting the worms out of my broccoli though!! This will save me a ton of time next go around.

Do you have a special way of getting worms out of your broccoli? How do you control the insects from devouring your broccoli harvest?

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6 Comments »

  • Cheryl says:

    We raised broccoli for the first time this year. I have cut 3 large heads so far. I use salt water too (lots of salt). I soak, then rinse and do it again. I also stick it in boiling water for just a moment and lo and behold, you will get one or two more worms! It is the most disgusting thought to think you may eat one!!! EEK, YUCK, BARF.
    I may be over doing it, but I don’t think so. You can’t be too careful when it comes to buggers!

  • Brynna says:

    Okay, VERY glad to see this tip! But also sorta freaked out!! I thought I checked over our broccoli pretty well last year but what if I didn’t? Ick. Yuck. Gross. I will totally be doing this regularly from here on out!!!! Thanks for the tip!!!

  • Mrs. D says:

    Yup, soaking in salt water is the very best way. You can cover with a thin mesh also to help deter the moths that lay the eggs that turn into worms, but if you have florets already it’s probably too late for that. Broccoli, being a cold weather crop doesn’t mind having a little cover anyway in the heat of summer.

    Wow… your harvesting already we are still waiting for germination. We’ve had a rather cold spring so far though, so the greenhouse stuff didn’t even want to peek. All seems to be making an attempt now at least. I noticed the pak choy, lettace, peas, radishes and some of the herbs are showing their little green heads. Beans will probably peek out this week with the warmer weather along with beets and the seed squash and cucumbers. The little squash and cucumbers that I started early are doing well. We’ll be harvesting in about 1 month. I agree, fresh veggies from the garden are absolutely the best!!!

  • Tami Lewis says:

    thank you so much for the tip! we also grow broccoli so i’ll probably be using this! :)

  • Emily says:

    I like the broccoli leaves better than the florets, so we eat those in salads and green smoothies.

    As for worms…I keep my brassicas covered w/row cover or PVC/windowscreen cages DH made specifically to keep cabbage moths away from them.

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