Broccoli could get “greener” for East Coast consumers if upcoming experiments at an N.C. State University research station in Waynesville are successful.
NCSU horticulturist Jeanine Davis is part of a multi-university team that’s starting what could be a decade-long project to develop broccoli varieties that can thrive in growing conditions in the East, recruit farmers, and organize networks for growers and distributors.
Most U.S.-grown broccoli is raised in California and Arizona, and not having to ship it the breadth of the country would reduce the carbon footprint of the nutritious stalks.
And it would be fresher by the time it reached consumers.
The broccoli team is being led by a Cornell University scientist and its work is funded by a $3.2 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and $1.7 million in matching contributions from private food-industry companies ,
They’re willing to gamble that kind of money because an East Coast broccoli industry could be worth as much as $100 million a year.
Which, of course, is a lot of cabbage.