Monday, May 26, 2014

The great cabbage experiment continues

Earlier, I wrote about buying  cabbage at the flea market for cheap. a further pursuit of thriftiness,  we are sprouting cabbage cores. 
I didn't take any pics of the earlier process, because it didn't occur to me that I'd be blogging about it.

Regardless, it's pretty obvious by looking that I cut the cabbages around the core to leave it intact with a squared off stump of leaf bases.

This was all very pale when they were stood up in their plastic cups of water, but they green up quickly in their bright window.  And now they have roots and new leaves.

This one, i obviously cut off the original growing tip and it is sending up five new shoots at the top.   I'm sure I should pinch off the weakest leaving the strongest, but this is an experiment so I'll leave it to see what happens.

This one is putting out one head.

So, on this memorial day they go into the dirt.  No fancy process,  just dig a hole and stick them in and water well. 

as a general rule, in this climate, cabbage are planted in the spring and in late July.  The spring plants are harvested in July to August.  The fall plants are harvested in September to November, but maybe left to December if freezes hold off.

The spring cabbage may be uprooted, but it's common to just cut out the heads leaving the roots and leaves which will grow one to three smaller side heads, about the size of a grapefruit, which are actually the perfect size for a single meal.

This is kind of what I'm expecting from my sprouted cores.  Serviceable, but nothing spectacular...

Plants planted in July and August are almost always uprooted , in the fall, then hung upside down by their roots in a garage, shed, mud porch, etc.  Treated this way they store longer.  

I must say, it never occurred to me to save those roots for re-sprouting next spring, but its starting to.

Now, the big question...
"Why bother?"

I mean a head of cabbage is dirt cheap... literally... a bag of potting soil costs more than a head of cabbage.

And, if you're really intent on growing them, can't you just buy plants?

Of course I could, but one potted plant costs more than a head of cabbage...

Cabbage is, and always has been, inexpensive.  Historically, cabbage has been the basis of many diets, and has often been the only vegetable poor people had access to.

I guess that seeing how much cabbage I can get from those two heads is for some reason important to me.

I spent one dollar on three  heads, gave one away, and dagnabbit.  I'm gonna stretch that dollar as far as I can!  

Besides, I seem to be experimental by nature.  I just wanna see what happens.


  1. I like your experiment, Claude!

    I read somewhere that frost actually improves the flavor of cabbage, so if you can leave it out until December, it's better. I have no idea if that's true, but I thought it was a cool quality in a plant to like frost.

    1. Liza... frost isnt a problem, but an actual hard freeze is.