Broccoli is ready when the flower like green part starts slightly to seperate into florets. Don't let the yellow flowers come on & bloom....it changes the taste. Cut under the florets on an ANGLE and take all the florets to a big pot of w.e salt & very cold water. Do this outside as black tiny beetles or and other bugs will be fighting to get out of that cold salt water. let it soak and move it up & down with your hand.....then emdpty that do one more 1/2 salt and full containe of cold water..........move you hand up and down again.............now do the last rise of cold water.....I checked each one...cook the stem in pieces......took that out.....blanched the florets and put every thing in cold water to cool and then strain.....let cool off and put on tray and froze it....then after a couple of hours.....I took the tray out and banged it on the table and then we used that machine and packaged it into 1 portion and everything is in the freezer....9 portions from 5 heads. The reason for the slant cut on the stem in the ground is to keep the rain from getting in the stem and making it go bad....now some florets will grow on the side and you can take them off when you have enough to clean & cook & freeze. Same thing with cauliflower. I never saw black bugs like this before this year. Look like in the beetle family. 1 body hard shell like a turtle but fast and not on any bug or pest list anywhere. I looked for 2 days.