Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cabbage Worm Armageddon, Pt II - Death by Garbage Disposal

Warning: The following true account is not for the faint of heart. It is presented here solely as a cautionary tale for those who would grow and harvest their own broccoli.

Tonight we harvested our first head of broccoli from our first fall crop! Despite the ongoing damage by those pesky worms, all 8 of our plants are forming heads. In fact, I was rejoicing because I hadn't recently found any contestants to play my previously described 'Cabbage Worm Armageddon' game. And now I know why.

I prefer my veggies steamed, and I have a whiz-bang microwave steamer. So tonight I washed my freshly-harvested head of broccoli, and cut about half of it into mini-heads for nuking. Two minutes in the microwave, and voila! I put the broccoli on a serving plate, and my husband, Nicolas, and I sat down to dinner.

Shortly thereafter I noticed a light-green worm-like thing in the middle of the serving plate. No, could it be? Ewwwwww!!!!! It was. It was a very dead cabbage worm. Ewwww!!! I spied another (very dead) worm poking out of another piece of broccoli. Ewww!!!! After disposing of the corpses and a careful inspection, Nicolas and I determined that the rest of our dinner was worm free.

But then I thought, 'gee, maybe I should check the rest of the broccoli in the fridge'. Ewwwww!!!! Good thing I did!!!! I found about another half-a-dozen worms happily hanging out on the little stems under the crown of the head. No wonder I haven't seen any worms outside on my plants, they're all hidden under the crowns!

I'm not really sure how to inspect under the broccoli heads while they're still attached to the plants (without destroying them), so I guess I'll just have to be extra-vigilant when I bring the harvest inside. Lesson learned!

By the way, for those who are wondering what became of the invaders I found in my kitchen, I'll let the title of this post speak for itself.

4 comments:

  1. Many years ago my Dad swore off broccoli forever. Sitting at the dinner table happily eating freshly harvested veggies from the garden Daddy noticed HALF of a cabbage worm on his plate. Ewwwww!!!!!!!

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  2. Nice. Those cabbage worms bug me. I always scour my broccoli before I cook it, then once more after it's cooked. I seem to inevitably find at least one well-steamed, now yellow, cabbage worm. Some day I'll be thankful for the free protein, but not now...

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  3. Thanks for the 'extra protein' reference - I didn't have the heart to mention that. But I will mention that Nicolas suggested we put a newly cut head upside-down in a bowl of water. Sure enough, the couple of hidden cabbage worms found their way out on their own (only to be escorted to the nearest garbage disposal).

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  4. LOL, Another worm steamer waving to you here. Amazing how they are such a perfect broccoli green when alive. At least when steamed they are not the same color as steamed broccoli!

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