Kimchee

BIG VEGETABLE PRIDE
Growing Cabbage in the Backyard Garden

This January, I sat and thought out my 2015 year goals: wear more sunscreen, run another race, grow a cabbage... Starting from seed, tending to, and then devouring a big brassica was high on my list. Growing food in a backyard garden is incredibly rewarding, not matter what it is. Snipping fresh cilantro for your tacos, making a salad with tender lettuce, watching radishes shimmy their pink shoulders out of the soil, bring up feelings of awesomeness and self-sufficiency. Once you get into a rhythm, herbs, quick growing roots and leafy greens all do really well in our SF gardens without much fuss. But this year, I wanted to go big. I wanted a challenge. I wanted a cabbage.

Brassicas are some of the most rewarding crops to grow yourself. Kales grow quickly and love our foggy weather. Over the years we've successfully grown broccoli and cauliflower at GFE, provided we cover it from pests, and after months of waiting it feels like such an accomplishment to harvest such hearty vegetables. But cabbage is notoriously tricky. Cabbages takes forever to grow, get huge, love to suck up nutrients and love extra worm castings. Bugs and slugs also love cabbage and can often take down starts before they've even had a change to grow. But a full grown cabbage is such an immense thing of beauty, with curled outer leaves and tight dense heads. With exceptional Harvest interns this spring, 2015 was going to be the year we grew a cabbage.

After month of tending to our little starts, on Saturday we stared at our big fat Napa cabbage with glee, high fived and chopped a large head at its base to send off in our CSA box. We took it over to our scale to see how we had done with our first successful harvest. The cabbage was huge and round, and when it clocked in at 5.25 lbs. my chest filled with pride, my smile stretch from ear to ear, and I felt more awesome and totally invincible than I had felt in years. Possibly ever.

Thanks so much to our dedicated and talented Spring Harvest Interns including (but not limited to): Paige, Stephanie, Sonia, Akiko, Kim, Maddie, Lily, Helen, Tyler & Lauren.

This GFE Napa cabbage was quick growing (we planted purple cabbage at the same time and it has months before it'll be ready) and I brought home a couple starts to my own backyard garden. Last week we made kimchee out of it, and I've been enjoying it with rice and a fried egg ever since. We used this recipe.