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The last cabbage

April 8, 2010

I cut open the last head of cabbage from last years crop.  Not bad considering it was started last June and transplanted last July.

Melissa F1 cabbage.

Some discoloration, and blanched a little but considering the freezes and thaws this cabbage went through, it’s definitely on my hardy vegetable list.  Keeping cabbage this long probably doesn’t make any sense when you can just buy a head of cabbage at the store fairly cheap, even organic.  But what if you can’t go to the store?  What if the cabbage from California doesn’t get delivered to the store?  What if you don’t want sauerkraut or frozen cabbage?  I post things like this because I want people to know there are alternatives to the store, frozen foods, or lacto-fermentation.  My kid hates sauerkraut – but she will eat at least a head of cabbage a week if it is sautéed in a little butter, and steamed with some balsamic vinegar on it.  I can’t really say that makes her a fussy eater, and it is no use to force the issue.

Tender, mild and sweet, and with a small amount of trimming this head is fine.  I had harvested these after the third bout of freezing and thawing and stored them in the fridge for a while since I had room in the milk refrigerator.  But as soon as the weather moderated back to our cool, rainy normal, I moved the cabbage to the porch – and they have been there ever since.

Our new cabbage starts are almost ready to transplant – and while they grow we will have a break from cabbage for awhile.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2010 1:51 am

    I think it’s awesome that you are eating veggies that you raised last summer! I have not tried storing cabbage but I’m going to this year. I really need to explore more ways of fixing it.
    I still have a few leeks and just finished the last acorn squash. It was awesome 🙂
    With all the warm weather we have had, I’m very anxious to get in the gardens and begin the cycle again.

    Happy spring!

    • April 9, 2010 5:23 am

      Deb, the weather has been crazy, we were relatively mild for months after a cold December – now it’s snowing today, again. I am thankful for that cabbage – it was delicious!

      Can’t wait for the warmer weather to return 🙂

  2. April 9, 2010 3:15 am

    I’ve been a mostly-seasonal eater for the last 27 years – but that was California, and I had the wonderful, year-’round Alameny Farmer’s Market available weekly. After the first fumblings it becomes second-nature to scorn out of season crops, and the flavor difference makes it easy for this foodie.

    It always shocked me that most relied on imported food when there was so much goodness at their fingertips. I’m guessing that even if you’re tired of cabbage now, by the time the first crop matures you’ll be hungry for it again.

    Now as I begin the slow process of learning to do it myself, in a much harsher climate and without the Alameny market, it’s posts like this one that really help me focus my thinking.

    • April 9, 2010 5:34 am

      Hayden, it’s going to be a big change for sure, but definitely doable. A lot is variety selection and timing, and a biggie is that when you grow your own food it may not be “perfect” in a cosmetic sort of way. Food is a living thing and needs constant attention. And you have hedge your bets a little, half of my carrots froze in the ground last year due to micro-climate conditions in my gardens. But I planted enough to make sure we would make it through the winter.

      As for eating seasonally when everything is available year round, I can see why people want to do it. When I stopped at a grocery store to get some olive oil last week, the rainbow display of bell peppers stopped me in my tracks. I could only dream of August and eating as many peppers as I want… however, when I really looked at them, they were rubbery and wrinkled, and still very expensive. I will wait. But the first Watsonville berries were there too and people were clamoring for them. Much like the cows going to a new paddock, they are trained…

  3. April 9, 2010 4:11 am

    We love cabbage, sauerkraut, and so, I do make sauerkraut and I will also freeze my cabbage and do the same, fry it in butter and garlic and put it in soups also. We did the sauerkraut for the first time this year and it turned out fantastically and we are going to put up twice as much this year. Everyone in the family loved it. I think I will make it into Christmas gifts this year.

  4. April 9, 2010 4:37 am

    I’m on a mission to store cabbage as long as you do. My root cellar is under construction, so this will be the first year I can put it to the test.

    I’m really glad you addressed feeding children. Sometimes the optimal gets trumped by the palates of the loved ones around you!

  5. April 9, 2010 5:49 am

    Kevin, here’s to a good growing season so you can stuff that root cellar to the gills!

    Ah yes the palate thing – I remember my mom and brother always eating bockwurst in the spring – I could not stomach it, I thought they were crazy! And the beer they drank with it was equally horrible. Or so I thought at the time. Now I love dark beer like Terminator Stout of Black Rabbit Porter.

  6. April 9, 2010 9:29 am

    Besides the fact that my wife and I just plain love growing our own food and eggs it is the “what if” factor that really makes this whole food self sufficiency thing a serious endevour. Nice cabbage, we just seeded a few Melissa. I hope they grow up to look like yours.:)

    • April 9, 2010 7:56 pm

      Mike, someone has to be a worry wart right? 😉 Even if “nothing” ever happens, I still think gardening and raising your own food is an empowering feeling.

      If it would ever quit snowing I would set my starts out – Melissa is looking the best of all the cabbage I started – it’s really an amazing variety.

  7. April 9, 2010 10:54 am

    I”m still trying to figure out if I’m going to have enough room for growing enough to see us into and out of the winter, but I am sure going to try. And I’m going to try clamping, since I don’t really have the right property for a proper root cellar. I love your blog and all the good information in it. You should write a book.

    • April 9, 2010 7:58 pm

      Paula, ooh a clamp is a great idea. My potatoes are in a sort of clamp in the barn and they do wonderfully!

      Hopefully it will warm up soon so we can get some gardening done!

  8. April 9, 2010 3:24 pm

    I love all the fresh foods from the farm, but with our seriously cold winters and no root cellar, I do a lot of canning to enjoy my produce year round. It’s not quite the same as fresh, but it’s pretty darn good.

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