If you zoom in on Megan’s greehouse photo from last week, you can see that the first plants sprouting were a cabbage variety called Fun Jen. Not a variety that you’re likely to find in your local supermarket, but as the name would indicate, a happy addition to the dinner table.
Fun Jen is one of 7 varieties of cabbage that I’ve started this year. Like Bok Choi, which I’m also growing, Fun Jen is originally from Asia. I grow them to add to the spring and summer pantry with sweet tender flavor and loaded with vitamins. But don’t worry, we have plenty of other organic cabbages up our hapily dirty sleeves, including savoy and old reliable green cabbage. About the only kind you aren’t likely to find in your CSA share this year is red cabbage. They make smaller heads and are a bit more finicky. I really prefer not to devote the field space to them here in zone 5, which is where Upper Meadows is located.
Cabbage may have gotten a bad name in the American kitchen. About the only time most households see one whole is on St. Patrick’s Day, when it gets boiled to death. But cabbage is prized in much of the rest of the world because they are so high in vitamin C and keep well, pickled or not. Think delicious, sweet summer cole slaw! Scientists have also found that cabbages are high in glutamine, which can reduce inflammation.
As we get ready to harvest, we’ll have more recipes for you to use to enjoy all our different varieties of cabbage. We are looking forward to a bountiful crop this year and expect to hold a time honored Upper Meadows CSA tradition and have a group sauerkraut-making session.