Seattle had a string of really great weather this month (well, last month I suppose as it will be June before I post this). It was superb for a lot of things: getting some vitamin D, reclaiming the yard from winter weeds, excitement about summer months. But was also bad in some ways.
I’ve mentioned here before my particular love for cole slaw (of many varieties). I really love creating summer cabbage salads, as well as experimenting with slaw for things like fish tacos.
When we visited Swanson’s for our early spring start purchase, we snagged a small pack of cabbage starts to put in the ground for an early season harvest. Since cabbage (and other brassicas) are cold weather crops, they don’t grow well through the summer so you aim for an early season harvest and then plant again in august for a september/october harvest. Last year we started too late to get an early season harvest in, but did pretty well with a late batch.
Those successful cabbages from last year were Savoy if I remember right, and I loved their more delicate crinkled texture. When we grabbed the flat this spring, I ended up settling on a Napa Chinese cabbage to achieve the same effect. Well, apparently that was the beginning of the downward spiral.
As I mentioned before, cabbage are cold weather crops which means they are susceptible to bolting (going to seed) when the weather gets too warm. We’ve had a slight problem with this in the past, but mostly with other brassicas like kale and brussel sprouts. This year, though, the weather turned a little warm for over a week and BAM the cabbage bolted sky high with flowers everywhere.
Once this happens, they’re pretty much dunzo. With some plants, the problem is that the greens get pretty bitter. With these types, I usually try to braise them or saute them in a pasta sauce and its not too noticeable. On these, though, the bottom of the leaves got all stiff and spiky! Scary and definitely not too edible.
Turns out after further research that Chinese Cabbage are much more prone to bolt than even other types of cabbage. Woops. So, that was our first fun experiment for the year. I guess it will be farm stand cabbage until I can get another crop in the ground for fall harvest. Bummer
I ripped them out and put some anaheim chile starts in their place. They’re so cute! We had terrible luck with peppers last year since the summer was so crappy, but I have high hopes for our second attempt.