Another Garden Surprise: Hello, Cauliflower!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I feel like I am being endlessly surprised by my garden this summer. Sometimes it just blows my mind that, yes, you put a seed into the ground, and it grows. Into something you can eat. Wait, how did that happen? Take this cauliflower for instance…

I bought a scrawny cauliflower sprout for 99 cents at a garden center early in the summer. It was a little late to get it going but hey, it was cheap, and I had a square foot to fill. So in it went. The leaves were instantly chewed to Swiss cheese by some unnamed and soulless bugs. Oh well, I thought; it’s a trap crop. Carry on, soulless bugs; just leave my kale alone.

I didn’t expect to actually ever see a cauliflower; I never fed the little plant, and it always looked slightly downtrodden while the rest of the greens around it flourished gloriously.

And then one morning I caught a glimpse of something bright in its chewed-up leaves. Was it? Why yes! A tiny ball of curds, curled up tight inside inside a furled nest of greens. Wow! Something from nowhere. But it was tiny, an infant cauliflower, and to be honest I didn’t expect much of it.

But then it grew. It grew and grew and grew. In 10 short days it became this gloriously creamy head of cauliflower, nearly ready to be lifted out of its nest.

What a surprise, and what a gift, to be able to eat something straight from the back yard. It really never fails to amaze me. It’s so commonplace, and yet so amazing at the same time.

My question for you is: What was your best garden surprise this year, and how is your garden going, anyway? Do you have any late summer and fall crops planned?

And do you have any suitably glorious suggestions for my homegrown cauliflower? It deserves nothing but the best.