As I’ve written before I’ve grown a cabbage that I really like called Kalibos. It is a beautiful red cone shaped cabbage that takes pretty much all season to grow. It is very tasty and sweet. The good news is that it doesn’t bolt in the summer and is ready to harvest in the fall. I think I planted it in early May.
What I didn’t know is if you harvest it a little higher on the stalk, instead cutting it level with the ground, it will produce a bunch of baby cabbages on its offshoots. Now I have a few more baby cabbages to use. I harvested them of course before the big snow storm that came in.
Two ways to preserve cabbage is by either refrigerating it or freezing. If you want to put it fresh in salads like coleslaw, then keep some of it in your refrigerator in a zip lock bag. If the cut edge looks a little dry, just trim it off If before use. I had my cabbage last from October to February last year.
If you are not sure how you will use your cabbage or have too much to use at one time, you can preserve some of it in the freezer. To do that, quarter it, blanch it for 3 minutes in boiling water and immediately cool it in ice water to stop the cooking. Then put it freezer bags and freeze the wedges. That way you can cut it into whatever size you need later. Blanching vegetables will stops the enzyme action which can cause loss of color and flavor. Or you can rough chop it and if you use this method, you’ll need to blanch it for 1.5 minutes instead of 3 minutes. Then cool it and put it freezer bags.
For the last 2 years I’ve grown Kalibos cabbage. A friend of mine, Alessandra turned me on to it. This beautiful Eastern European variety is cone shape with huge outer leaves that surround the cone. The cabbage has a high sugar content and intense reddish-purple leaves. The flavor is sweet. Finally a cabbage I like! I never liked cabbage before. It is so beautiful in the garden and makes quite a statement.
I especially like planting it with flowers like in the picture above. It will be equally beautiful nestled in with other plants or in the veggie garden. Needs full sun and takes 2-3 square feet in the garden. Start seeds indoors and transplant them outside under some lightweight row cover. Harvest in late summer or fall. I got my seeds from rareseeds.com (Baker Heirloom Seeds). 90 days to harvest.
Now that the season is over I can review some of the new veggies I tried.
Borlotti beans: The pod of this Italian shelling bean is so beautiful and once I picked them, let them dried and shelled them the actual beans are pinkish/cream-colored with red splashes-more beauty. The variety was ‘Lamon’ which is a vining type. Can’t wait to try them in a pasta e fagioli soup this winter.
Kalibos Red cabbage: A friend gave me some plants to try. This Eastern European heirloom cabbage has a pointed shape and intense red/purple leaves. They turned out beautiful and I gave my friend the biggest one as I’m not a big cabbage fan and she makes great fermented foods-like Sauerkraut or Kim-chi.
Butternut Rugosa (wrinkledbutternut): This variety from Italy is larger than the American Butternut variety. I only got one as powdery mildew eventually took over the plant but can’t wait to eat this. Much more interesting than the regular butternut variety. This one hadn’t turned butternut brown yet.
Chartreuse Scarlet Runner bean: I grow runner beans for their beautiful flowers although I know we can eat them too. I like this variety because of its chartreuse coloring of the leaves and the scarlet flowers. I love the contrast between the yellow-green foliage and surrounding other greens in the garden (in this case it is next to the strawberry plants.)
Sunset Runner bean: I grew this for the beautiful peach colored flower. The leaves are the normal green of other runner beans. I grew it on my arbor at the entrance to the garden.
Artichokes: I wrote about this in an earlier post but definitely worth mentioning again. Wonderful good size chokes with great flavor on a beautiful plant. In fact I like the plant as much as the artichokes. Wonderful showstopper in the garden. Another one I didn’t think would harvest in time but they did. See previous post here.