“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax— Of cabbages–and kings– The Walrus and The Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll
Cabbage is delicious, nutritious, low-calorie, fat-free and likes to grow in cold weather. No where in America is its history as interesting as in the Matanuska Valley of Alaska. Cabbage research began there in the late 1800’s by George W. Palmer and continues today at the Palmer Center for Sustainable Living in Palmer, Alaska.
Palmer was a gold prospector turned entrepreneur after he realized there was a serious market for the high nutrition found in vegetables that could be added to a diet mostly of meat. Working with seeds from the Federal Government, he successfully cultivated cabbage, carrots, radishes, kale, rutabagas, lettuce, parsnips and turnips. Palmer was able to feed his family throughout the winter, sell the produce in his grocery store and share extra harvest of seeds with his Native neighbors who also lived in the valley.
Cabbage is high in vitamin C, Iron, potassium, calcium beta-carotene and ingredients that prevent cancer. Working with the Palmer Center for Sustainable Living, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) recommends the best cabbage varieties for cold climates. For more detailed information about high-nutrition crops visit the links below in Resources. What’s your favorite Brassica oleracea? Share your comments here and on our new Facebook page.
Brassica oleracea (Capitata group)
Glory of Enkuizen Golden Acre: Heirloom, moose favorite; blue/green colors, small tight head, good for sauerkraut. Seeds became available in America in 1903.
January King: Heirloom, Originating in Victorian England; Pinkish/purple, slightly savoyed, cold hardy; and has many hybrids developed from it.
Savoy Ace: Excellent raw in salads, very tender with deep green leaves.
PALMER CENTER: http://www.uaf.edu/snras/afes/palmer-research-extension/