Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kohlrabi-a less well known spring vegetable

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kohlrabi is one of the oldest member of the cabbage family.  Its wild ancestor was originally found in Britain and Europe.  Kohlrabi was present in colonial America, but was used mainly for livestock.  The taste was much stronger in colonial times than today's varieties..  

Kohlrabi has fiber, carotenes, vitamins C, B6, folate, choline, phytochemicals, and minerals manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous and fiber.  kohlrabi nutrients

Both the leaves and root is edible and healthy.  The leaves can be eaten fresh or sautéed.  The bulb can be eaten raw, sautéed, or roasted.  Kohlrabi's bulb is a mild crunchy veggie.  Heirloom varieties with good taste are Purple Vienna and White Vienna.

Kohlrabi is sown at the same time as cabbages, when the crocus bloom in the spring and when phlox blooms in the fall.  You can also start indoors 5-7 weeks prior to your last frost date (first of March in a Zone 6 garden) and transplant outdoors 2-3 weeks prior to last frost date (end of March in a Zone 6).  Plant every 3 weeks to extend the harvest until the warm weather  begins and cold weather begins in the fall.

Kohlrabi should be planted 1’ apart from each other in well composted soil and kept adequately watered.  It is ready to harvest in 6 weeks and should be harvested when no bigger than 2” in diameter for sweetest flavor.

Kohlrabi must pass through a winter to flower if you are interested in saving the seed.   They must either be protected or dug up and stored in sand in a cool place over the winter.

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