cavolo nero and other brassicas

cavolo nero and other brassicas

Several matters came together to fire a craze on cabbages and brassicas in general. I now have four different kales, hearting cabbage and a range of chinese leaves in different stages of development ready for stir-fries and steaming through the coming months.

You can read my peak oil inspiration here, http://projectdirt.com/group/incredibleediblelambeth/forum/topics/i-have-a-dream-cabbage

In addition, I just hate to see ground uncovered in winter. I’ve observed how the soil becomes battered by the rain. Hard-won soil fertility is lost as nutrients are leached away, soil structure flattens, the soil becomes soggy and anaerobic and the good soil fauna dies. You can mulch with organic matter or plastic, but why not just grow something. Ta da! Cabbages are hardy, and with a bit of protection from cold to make the leaves sweeter, they will give you a wonderful fresh source of folate and fibre.

Seeing these nets in the summer at the Garden Organic run walled garden at Audley End made me mad with envy, and I have now rigged up something similar against pigeons, but re-using plastic ‘terracotta’ pots. I used a knitted net that shouldn’t tangle the birds and will last for ten years or more.

Ribolita is a  thick peasant soup from Italy made from dried borlotti beans, yesterday’s bread, the summer’s bottled tomatoes and key ingredient shredded black cabbage (cavolo nero), with olive oil – and its served in the finest restaurants. It’s a complete meal in itself.

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