Sunday, November 16, 2014

Elephant garlic and turnip cabbage

After a few mils of rain yesterday and a cool day today I decided to have the day off. I just went outside to take some pics for you and then went for a drive to pick out some good spots in the bush to hold a survival course for a group who got in touch to do one soon.

 Yesterday I picked my elephant garlic. Although many people don't like it because it is so mild, I always think that it is impressive and makes anyone growing it feel like a great gardener.

My garlic harvest was pretty pitiful this year as you know but at least I got a few elephant garlic plants that are worth taking photos of.

Elephant garlic is actually a type of leek with a garlic flavour. You grow it just like 'normal' garlic but it has fewer cloves in the bulbs so you have to plant many more bulbs to get a bed full. Usually it is harvested at least a month after other garlic but this year with the funny weather it is ready now.

My neighbour here is holding three plants for this pic.

A while ago I told you I had bought some seeds of a very old and rare vegetable from Italy (seeds available from Baker Creek Seeds) called a turnip cabbage.
They are growing strongly and are now starting to thicken the roots/stems.

This is a true cabbage that is grown for its turnip-like root rather than for its leaves. It is non-hearting and the leaves taste just like normal cabbage to me so you could use it for both purposes.
Apparantly it tastes so tender and sweet that you can eat the root raw like kohlrabi as well as cooked.

I have set aside a few plants to taste myself but the rest will be for seed.

I have noticed some variation. Most of the roots have the purple top as they are supposed to and a couple are all white so far.

Yesterday I judged the produce section of the local show. It was a disappointment with the few entries this year, for the produce as well as for all the other sections such as photography, art etc. Oh well, maybe next year will have more.

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