Home » Latest News » From Seed to Harvest: The life cycle of a Harvesting Good broccoli floret

From Seed to Harvest: The life cycle of a Harvesting Good broccoli floret

At Harvesting Good’s farm, we’re committed to sustainable and eco-friendly farming practices. Our broccoli florets start with selecting the perfect seed, germinating, and then harvesting at peak perfection.

Selecting the perfect seeds

It all begins with the careful selection of our seeds. We trial different broccoli varieties for about three years before they’re put into production. The selection process includes hand-selecting varieties that thrive in our climate and soil and meet our standards for flavor and nutritional value.

Trials are planted in May, June, and the first part of July so we can track the plants’ performances throughout the year. Our commitment to GMO-free produce ensures that the seeds we plant are as natural as the nutrient-rich soil they’ll call home.

Our farmers use seeds that do not have any hormones. When mid-west growers started experimenting, they primarily focused on corn and soybean crops. Thankfully, this never crossed over to broccoli!

Planting directly into the fields

Unlike some traditional farming methods, we skip germinating seeds to seedlings. Instead, Circle B Farms carefully plants our selected seeds directly. This direct-to-earth approach minimizes plant stress and allows them to establish strong roots right from the beginning.

We’re lucky that our seed company does germination tests on all the broccoli varieties before they ship directly to our farm.

Germination and early growth

Broccoli is exceptionally tender during its first growth stage, so we wait until the weather is just right to plant our seeds. Any frost may potentially kill the plants, which we do not want to happen. As the magical process of germination begins, tiny sprouts emerge, and we closely monitor this early growth stage so we can provide the attention each little plant needs.

Once the broccoli has four true leaves, the farmers will go through and fertilize each plant to give it the nutrients it needs to produce florets.

Maturing into broccoli heads

As the weeks pass, the young broccoli plants transform into leafy greens, and they need about an inch of rain a week to produce the iconic broccoli heads. Maturing is a critical stage. We monitor the weather very closely and will irrigate if necessary. Our farmers look at crown size and overall quality, so we can deliver a broccoli that looks appealing and is packed full of the nutrients you expect.

Harvesting at the peak of perfection

Timing is everything! Once the broccoli has a two-to-three-inch head, we walk the fields every two days to ensure the heads form correctly. We wait until each head reaches the peak of perfection – about six to eight inches – and then harvest. This size is when the florets are tight, and the flavor is at its best.

We can get at least three harvests from one field because each plant grows differently. Once the harvest is complete, the broccoli goes to Circle B Farms’ facility to be hydro-cooled and shipped to W.R. Allen for processing.

Bringing Harvesting Good florets to your table

After harvesting, our broccoli undergoes a meticulous process to maintain its freshness and nutrients. From field to freezer shelves, we take great care, and with our direct-to-earth approach, our broccoli is delicious and aligns with our values of providing a wholesome and natural product.

Harvesting Good is available at Hannaford Supermarkets throughout New England and Northern New York. Find your retailer.