This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
We have talked about growing carrots and
beets. This week, we move from root vegetables to a leafy vegetable. Cabbage is
related to mustard, turnips, kale and collards. The leaves that form a head of
cabbage can be purple, red or green. "White" cabbage is really a
Cabbage is a good source of vitamin C and other
nutrients. Cato the Elder, an influential Roman thinker two thousand years ago,
praised its medical value. If you eat it raw, he suggested dipping it in
Think about growing cabbage if you live where the weather
is cool and the soil is moist and fertile. Spring and fall are good times to
begin. Experts say cabbage does not need full sun and grows easily if you water
it regularly and protect against insects and disease.
The University of Illinois Extension says
cabbage is easily transplanted from bare-root plants or cell packs. Bare-root
plants have no soil on their roots. Cell packs are containers in which seeds
Susan Trice from the University of Maryland Cooperative
Extension Service says cabbage takes about sixty to ninety days to grow. She
says the amount of space needed between the plants depends on how big you
expect the heads to be. Cabbage can be picked any time after the heads have
Always keep the plants moist. Watch for
yellowing or black spots on the stems. Yellow or brown areas shaped like the
letter V on leaves may be a sign of black rot infection.
Insects, transplants and seeds can spread infections. If
you suspect that seeds may be diseased, place them in water at fifty degrees
Celsius for twenty minutes. The Cooperative Extension Service at Oklahoma State
University says buying high-quality seeds can help.
On March seventeenth, many Irish Americans will eat a
traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.
Cabbage leaves can be steamed or cooked in a small
amount of boiling water until they soften. Cabbage smells terrible if you cook it
too long. Uncooked cabbage, cut thinly, is used in cole slaw and other salads.
is cabbage fermented in its own juice. It means "sour cabbage" in
German. Salt is traditionally used to pull water out of the cabbage.
And Chinese cabbage is popular
not just in China. It is commonly used, for example, in kimchee, a spicy Korean
food made with fermented cabbage.
that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. Our
reports are at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Bob Doughty.