Watsonville, Calif.-based Lakeside Organic Gardens has started selling broccoli leaves.
San Francisco-based Imperfect Produce received its first shipment of broccoli leaves from Lakeside the week of June 26.
“There is a general conception that the leaves are waste, but they are valuable not just for sales to the consumer but also as an additive for the soil that makes strawberries grow better and as another product in the product line that can be sold in the market,” said Lakeside marketing communications manager Daryl Wise.
Imperfect Produce plans to help develop the market by including the leaves in weekly deliveries to customers.
“In many ways putting a grower’s previously unknown or difficult-to-market commodities into our boxes is a terrific sampling/education opportunity,” said Ron Clark, director of sourcing for Imperfect Produce.
Along with introducing its customers to the leaves, Imperfect Produce aims to stir wider interest as well.
“We are uniquely positioned to educate our consumers to try broccoli leaves through our strong social media presence on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook,” Clark said. “There is already considerable buzz from our customers who are anxiously waiting for their first experience cooking these greens.”
Lakeside also sells broccoli leaves to some other retailers.