Growing A Broccoli Economy

Dec 23, 2010

Credit Linda N. Flickr Creative Commons

Some North Carolina horticulture experts want you to get your next head of broccoli closer to home.

Broccoli is a 700-million-dollar a year industry in the U S, and most of that gets shipped from the West Coast. But agricultural scientists from N C State University think that can change.

Horticulture professor Jeanine Davis says it's more efficient and healthier to get broccoli locally:

"Broccoli is one of these kinds of crops that it needs to be kept very cool, and it needs high humidity. So it's usually shipped in ice. Half the weight of that truck, when it starts out across the country, is ice... how much fresher a product would we have if we are to got it here on the East Coast."

Davis is working with horticulturalists from Maine to South Carolina. Her goal? To scale up enough broccoli growers in the next decade so that Easterners don't need to get their 'little trees' shipped across the country.