Monday, October 1, 2007

An enthusiastic post on cabbages

Surely the first in the blogosphere?

I can't remember eating much cabbage as a kid but its threat and fug hang over my memories nonetheless, no doubt borrowed from unspecified books about children in slums, boarding schools and other grim scenarios. But still, I planted cabbages - sugarloaf, savoy and red - last autumn, and I'm not sorry I did. I've produced some round and vigorous fellows and we're eating them with great appreciation.

There are so many veggies that I must have in my garden because they taste so much better, more subtle and yet more obvious, more remarkable, than those bought in the shops. Cabbage is turning out to be one of these - who knew? We're eating the sugarloaf after briefly introducing it to the heat on the hob and then mixing it with caramalised red onions, free range bacon, apples, the last of the walnuts, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. On a big white plate, it looks like something from a magazine. I am inordinately proud of feeding my family cabbage. Lucy won't eat it of course - it's not butter or a sausage - but she doesn't seem scared of it. And Nell is enthusiastic because it is a food and at 10 months, she's discovered the wonderful world of solids where everything is YUMMY.

I'm also pleased with my efforts in growing it. I used plastic drink bottles to hide the seedlings from slugs - a real problem in our garden (and in our house, they crawl across the carpet at night. Why? And, eww) - and I think this had the added bonus of acting like a little greenhouse. I planted barley, peas and radishes around the edges of the bed and dill amongst the cabbages. This combination seems to have stymied the often destructive sparrows - you can barely see the cabbages from the air - and totally bushed the slugs who could not possibly find their way through the jungle, let alone scent out the good stuff through all the dill. Lots of compost in the soil to begin, and a couple of trenches of manure between the rows of seedlings but I offered nothing after that - no watering and no liquid manure. Mainly I'm pleased because I'm always a little shocked when something hearts up. All that swelling and hardening (!!) seems so mysterious, and I never trust it will work. (I've re-written this a couple of times now, and it always ends up sounding rude, so I think I'll leave it there for the day.)

7 comments:

Kez said...

lol - not just an enthusiastic post about cabbages but an erotic one too :) That *Has* to be a first :)

BTW feel free to delete the comment if you don't want to be found via some weird Google searches!

Jenny said...

I love the combination of cabbage, bacon, onion - yum.

Janet said...

I'm impressed, Kris, I have never had much success with brassicas except for italian brocoli which I don't much like anyway. I keep dreaming of homegrown brussels sprouts but the bugs always get them. Too warm here I think.

I imagine homegrown cabbage would be delicious!

Theresa Bakker said...

An enthusiastic post indeed! Cabbages are king here in Alaska. I have a great pickled beets and cabbage recipe. Let me know if you want to try it out.

Judy said...

Kris,
Your blog is an education for me, since I am not a gardener myself. I enjoy reading about your various plantings, vegetables and your sweet children. Thank you for your comment on my blog!

Lost in a reverie... said...

I agree with Judy, and will have to pick your brain on what to plant veggie wise for the enthusiastic gardener in our house. Well, he enjoys the dirt play anyway.

Marjorie said...

Best title ever here. You're probably right--first in the blogosphere, and definitely my first enthusiastic reading on cabbages.

I love that you can draw me, a non-gardener, in with these fantastic gardening posts. Don't be surprised if you get me planting a few seeds one of these days...