"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Cabbage & Kohlrabi
As the chilly fall weather causes the ground to thaw and freeze ever more deeply I finally decided it was time to liberate our cabbage from the trench they have been hiding in for the past several weeks. The root cellar is now complete as the cabbage join the rest of our edibles in a state of almost suspended animation awaiting their turn at the table.
With the weather, a couple weeks back, dropping into the high teens for a few days and the root cellar still a tad too warm at that time (45-50°) I dug a trench and laid out our cabbage between layers of straw and covered with a few spare pieces of plywood with dirt on top. This thirty minute procedure allowed me a grace period of almost three weeks. Theoretically, cabbage can be stored this way for many months if your trench is dug deeply and the insulation (straw, leaves, soil) is thick enough. Unfortunately, unless I want to tunnel into 100" of snow (packed), which is what we received this past winter, entrenching my cabbage is not a viable solution for us. We always struggle with the storage of our cabbage and I really want to keep them as a reliable food source for as long as possible this year since we did have quite a few, so I am hoping that bringing them into the cellar after it has cooled will make a difference.
Blink your eyes and summer's over, it seems as though we just finished planting our little brassica seedlings and now they have come full term. We pulled the majority our kohlrabi a couple weeks back and have them stored away. I grew three varieties this year and one called Gigante did surprisingly well for us, as large as some of them got they still remained tender and crisp under their bumpy skins. Over the years kohlrabi has become a staple in our diet, usually grated raw over our salads. If you have never grown them before I highly recommend you try as they will thrive anywhere cabbage and broccoli can be grown. If they receive plenty of water and are grown in a loose composted soil even our large ones do not seem to get woody but remain tender and sweet.
June kohlrabi, all leaves and no body
Kohlrabi, trimmed and ready to be tucked away into the root cellar
Most of our storage cabbage were red varieties as they always seem to keep the best for us. We are in the process of turning the green ones, mostly Late Flat Dutch and Danish Ballhead, into sauerkraut. This year we canned some of our kraut for the first time as a test to see how we liked it "cooked" but the rest will be eaten in a more raw state throughout the winter.
The kraut on the left just came out of the canner and the fresh stuff is about to be cut up for a more natural, crisp kraut.
Some of the smaller cabbage are still in the field and actually weathered the cold spell quite well. Every day or so I pick a couple that are still in good shape. The Ruby Ball seems to be especially tolerant and has so far managed to survive the cold and even a bit of snow this year. The smaller kohlrabi that were left behind were pretty much ruined (frozen solid) but still able to provide us and our chickens with very fine greens once they had thawed.
Our first snow day, (six hours of falling slush) hit about a week ago, this is one of many little cabbage left out in the weather. Still perfectly edible.
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
On Permaculture, Edible Landscaping and Garden Plants
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.