There was a break in the rain today, so I had to get out into the garden. It was gray, dry or lightly misting, and warm (about 60 degrees). First, there were lots of slugs, the little kind—there had to have been over a hundred that I “dealt” with. Many were on the Portuguese kale. What is amazing about this “kale” is that they are making giant heads, about 8 to 10 inches across! I’m going to wait for a good frost to sweeten them up before harvesting.
Remember the giant kohlrabi from last year, ‘Superschmelz’? I’ve been letting them get really big to really test them and thought I’d bring one in today for lunch. It wasn’t very pretty, but it was a good 8 inches in diameter and very heavy. I cut off a wedge, peeled it and it was fabulous! Sweet, crunchy, and not woody. It’ll take a while to eat it all!
Two weeks ago, I pulled another ‘Yellowstone’ carrot from a mid-April sowing for a stew. It just keeps getting bigger! Here’s a picture of it with the ‘Jester’ acorn squash, both surrounded by the ‘Chersonskaya’ winter squash. Haven’t tasted the squash yet. Beautiful, but I’m disappointed by the yield of both varieties.
While finishing up fall chores in the garden after lunch, I noticed more slugs! This time I counted: 122. —Debbie Leung, Olympia, Washington
Right on, Debbie! Your post is most inspiring—makes me want to break into song (it’s late, I’m punchy). I would have included kohlrabi, the best greens of them all, but couldn’t figure out a rhyme.
(Sung, of course, to the tune of “My Favorite Things,” with apologies to Julie Andrews…)
Kale and canola, and spinach and Swiss chard,
Collards and mustards that grow in my back yard,
Old cabbage shoots and some weeds that I glean
These are a few of my favorite greens…
When I’m hungry
I want something
That will make me glad
I simply chow down on my favorite greens
And then I don’t feel so bad…
—Don Boekelheide, Charlotte, North Carolina
Kohlrabi is one of my favorite winter vegetables. I love the large ones especially, as we’ve been growing the ‘Kossack’ variety to about 4″x 7″ or so and storing them. Last year we had some that were still hanging around until April—they made an excellent kimchi that we used as a salad and sandwich garnish all summer. Our pot roast last weekend had chunks of kohlrabi instead of potatoes. We don’t make a vegetable soup without throwing them in either, a la turnips. And “kohl” slaw can’t be beat!
When storing kohlrabis, they might get a little prune-y on the outside, and the tops sometimes start growing again. When I’m cooking with one, I’ll slice off about an inch of the top, press it into potting soil, and grow it for winter greens. The tops will actually bolt and make little broccoli-like florets. Yum! —Kathy Shaw, Neenah, Wisconsin