Monday, July 8, 2013

Garden to Table: Cabbage

As we tend this new garden of ours in it's very first season of use, our discoveries, learning experiences, and recipes bring about a new series of sorts here on the blog.  I will be using it as a garden journal to look back on through the years.  Since we have already harvested a lot of the first plantings, this post is a step back in time to about a month ago, when we pulled our first heirloom Cour di Bue cabbage from it's bed.  What a site that was!  The roots went deep and as you can see, the plant was quite substantial.  This cabbage has a very different form; it grows in the shape of a football.  It (obviously) needs a lot of growing space; which was hard to believe when we transplanted the tiny seedlings into the garden.

We started everything from seed this year, except the two basil plants my mom bestowed upon me.  It never ceases to amaze me how such a tiny, speck of a seed explodes into a monstrous plant in just a couple months.  My heart is filled with childlike wonder with each and every sprout that turns into a plant that renders us delicious nourishment.  I wish everyone could experience the everyday miracle that sustains our lives.  We plant it, God breathes life to it, and we get to harvest and eat it.  It truly is astounding. 

We ended up planting only six cabbages this year.  Most of them were used in this cole slaw recipe that we could't seem to get enough of.  My changes were: creme fraiche instead of sour cream, whatever kind of onion we had on hand instead of specifically a Spanish onion, coconut sugar instead of regular sugar, apple cider vinegar instead of white, a tablespoon of mustard from a bottle instead of dry (it's what I had on hand), omitted the celery salt (didn't have any), and used Celtic sea salt.  What a brilliant pairing it was with organic pulled pork from locally-raised foraging pigs.  We can't forget about lacto-fermented sauerkraut.  I like adding a bit of dill to the kraut as it ferments these days.

Next year, plans are to grow more cabbage.  We had great success with this variety, and will most likely use it again.  Also?  I am longing for a root cellar.  Actually, it's become more of an obsession.  Fermenting/culturing the harvests is my preservation method of choice because of how nutrient-dense the food becomes, but there is no way the refrigerator can store even a small fraction of what we would put by.  Someday (soon, I hope) our hillside will have a little root cellar door in it!

What kind of cabbage recipes and seeds do you like?

I'm sharing this at Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. I have been also dreaming of a root cellar, even though right now we don't even own a house or land. But in my dreaming with God, I have a vision for one! I hope your dream comes true soon!

  2. I need a root cellar too. My onions and garlic are stinking up the garage with the heat we have during the summer.
    Karie in Murrieta, CA

  3. Did you have any cabbage worms? Any solutions that don't involve pesticides?



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