Cultivating a real love for Tenderstem® broccoli

Cultivating a real love for Tenderstem® broccoli

Meet our growers

Meet the people who tend to our Tenderstem® broccoli as they explain what makes our mini trees so darn delicious.

Andrew Caroline Green

Andrew & Caroline Green

Meet Andrew and Caroline Green—a husband and wife team to be reckoned with in the world of Tenderstem® broccoli growing. Whether it’s cultivating a million Tenderstem® broccoli plants, or delivering the earliest UK crop, they’ve been there and got the T-shirt.

“It’s not for everyone,” Caroline says. “Tenderstem® broccoli needs a lot of nurturing in the planting but also in the harvesting—you have to do it by hand. We pick it every three days or so. A day over and it’s passed its ultimate tenderness, or worse, sprouted into a yellow flower.”

With over a million Tenderstem® broccoli plants grown in 20 hectares of their land, it contributes about 20% of their business turnover. And they’re not stopping there. They have previously used their innovative and secret methods to win the accolade of delivering the first English Tenderstem® broccoli to supermarket shelves.

George Read

George Read

George Read and his brother Vernon are totally passionate about producing the best quality crops at Staples Vegetables, growing a range of crops from cauliflower to courgettes, peas to potatoes – and one of George’s favourites, Tenderstem® broccoli. Over time, they’ve taken the 350 acres they started out with and increased it to over 10,000.

They were first encouraged to try growing Tenderstem® broccoli by their customer Marks & Spencer and they’ve since had to increase their acreage to keep up with demand. George says, “There’s a demand for Tenderstem® broccoli because it’s got a better all-round flavour than traditional broccoli, beating it hands down in sweetness, which makes it a favourite among kids. And its convenience is important too. You can just take it out of the packet with no need to chop and you have a seriously healthy convenience food.”

How Tenderstem® broccoli is grown

In this video Matt Gedney, talks about the labour of love it is to grow and harvest Tenderstem® broccoli, and food writer and stylist, Genevieve Taylor, demonstrates its incredible versatility in the kitchen.