Rustic Reverie


I've planted some hardy winter/spring brassica crops. The seeds of brassicas all look like mustard seeds, and are relatively easy to grow.

tuscan cabbage:

This is Tuscan Cabbage, sometimes known as Cavolo Nero. This was grown by a student who attended one of my classes last year. It does not form a head, and its crinkled matt deep green leaves with a white stem and a bitter cabbage flavour are best sauteed, or braised or in soups. Hopefully my crop will grow healthily like this.

I also have some Kale growing. The rough grey/blue/pale green leaves are sort of like silverbeet/chard with thin stems, and it does look somewhat similar to Tuscan cabbage.

Apparently both these vegetables are high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.

Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.

I'll be planting broad beans this Thursday, being an appropriately good moon phase for planting fruiting annuals. Apparently they don't like too much fertiliser, lest they grow excessive leaves and not many fruit pods.

Also ready for planting at the end of the month: cabbage, endive, spinach, Red Giant Mustard, Komatsuna Mustard, and Mesclun (assorted salad greens).

I do hope the slugs and caterpillars don't ruin my rustic reverie...