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Today's Food for Thought: 10-12-09

The Fall Vegetable Garden, Chinese Cabbage and Kimchi

Fall vegebable garden    Chinese Cabbage    Kimchi

     Fall is a great time to get those fresh green vegetables that we are told are so good for us.  They are said to provide an abundance of nutrition and even prevent some diseases.  It seems easy for us to neglect the green foods to our own detriment.   My fall garden consists of Chinese Cabbage, three varieties of collards, broccoli and Savoy Cabbage. The soil for the fall garden was mulched with hay.  I fertilized with liquid fish, bone meal, sulfate of potash, epsom salts and borax.  Pests have included a few worms, harlequin bugs, grasshoppers and crickets.  Until recently I have hand picked worms and harlequin bugs.  The plants are getting so large it is more difficult to find the worms so yesterday I sprayed with Bacillus Thurningiensis, brand name Dipel, to control the worms.  

     Chinese Cabbage was the first vegetable ready for harvest.  It is tender crisp with a texture I compare to a cross between lettuce and cabbage.  Each fall I like to use the Chinese Cabbage to make a few quarts of Kimchi, Korean Sauerkraut,  which keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.  Being preserved by lacto-fermentation, it provides good bacteria needed in our intestinal tracts to aid good health.   In her book, Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon explains the health benefits of lacto-fermentation and provides many easy to follow recipes, including the one I use for Kimchi.  

     Broccoli is almost ready for harvest.  After the main heads are cut, smaller shoots will grow to extend the harvest.  Because frost adds a sweeter flavor to collards, I will wait until after frost to harvest them.  Cabbage and collard harvest should last at least through January.

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