FILDERKRAUT CABBAGE (Brassica oleracea) is a fine European heirloom that dates to the 1700s and is celebrated with festivals for its wonderful sweet flavor. The extremely pointy heads can get as big as 10 lbs and are excellent for any kind of fermented dish as well as fresh eating. Note the long season required.100-120 days from transplant. A real market pleaser. 50 seeds.
ABOUT CABBAGE: Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is an ancient vegetable, revered by the Greeks as sacred and used by the Romans medicinally, especially to cure over-consumption. Extremely high in Vitamins C, potassium, folic acid and the Romans were right - it is useful in detoxifying the system. A good storer during winter months when fresh fare was hard to come by, cabbage is a staple in most of Europe since ancient times. There are many varieties but basically two types - spring and fall, the latter of which has longer days to harvest time frames and requires more careful management to fruition. The quick, early spring cabbages tend to be smaller. Savoy cabbages, with beautiful wrinkled leaves, which lend themselves to dishes such as cole slaw (raw) and stuff cabbage (cooked). Red cabbage is a favorite shaved thin for salads because of the exquisite coloration it adds but be sure to use interior leaves because the older wrappers can be tough. Pickled cabbage, or sauerkraut, is another method of "cooking" and storing the vegetable for long periods. Few make it from scratch these days, but it is worth the trouble - no comparison to the canned version we are familiar with. Especially when cooked for serving with apples!
MEDICINAL: With its high naturally occurring chemical content that fights or neutralizes carcinogens, cabbage is recommended for a cancer prevention diet. It is said that crushed raw cabbage is antiseptic and is a good wound dressing. It is also a natural, gentle and effective laxative if consumed on a regular basis. BUT, cabbage is not for everyone. If you eat LOTS (and I mean LOTS) of cabbage (and other vegetables with similar properties like spinach and rhutabaga), you may find your thyroid enlarged (goiter) because it can inhibit thyroid hormones causing the thyroid to enlarge to produce more. Not a hazard, but not desirable, especially if you have a thyroid condition or are taking thyroid medications. Also, cabbage contains Vitamin K which is contraindicated for those taking anti-coagulants such as Coumadin. The tyramine in cabbage, especially high in its cooked form, will counteract the effects of MAO inhibitors, and could lead to a hypertensive crisis.
GROWING TIPS: Unless you have an exceptionally long growing season, brassicas must be started indoors, with warmth and light. To give them a proper start requires special equipment - windowsills aren't adequate, though you will get seedlings that way, they will be spindly and not mature properly. Invest in a small seed starter kit with sterlized soil & containers, bottom heat and overhead grow light. You will not regret it! Be sure to "harden off" all seedlings before final planting. This involves giving them short exposures outdoors when planting season approaches, lengthening the time each day from a few hours to the full day and then overnight before planting. In this way, your baby plants will strengthen and really produce for you!