Thursday, May 24, 2001

Cabbage Seedlings

My wife bought us a cabbage seedling to grow in a planter. At our house, we already have a planter with lettuce, and two pots of eggplant, and one each of bell peppers, green peppers, mini tomatoes, paprika and parsley, all of which my wife bought. The lettuce is already big enough to eat, so, once every 4-5 days, we take a few leaves from the outside of the plant and use it in salads and such, but since it isn't enough to use everyday, we bought another seedling today. Watching my wife make this purchase, I asked her to buy the cabbage seedling as well.

When young, the leaves of the cabbage plant, like any other type of vegetation, are turned upward. However, as it grows and matures, the leaves begin to curl into a sphere shape. Wanting to see this, I asked my wife to make this purchase. Moreover, cabbage is delicious, can be used in Japanese, Western and Chinese-style cooking, and is also very high in Vitamin C. Although quite hardy, and comparatively resilient against garden pests, it's the worms that hatch from the eggs of the white diamond-back moths that are the most troublesome. These moths come to our yard, but, not too many in number, so I'm optimistic about our "crop."

My wife once read the following story in a book. It seems that a visitor to Japan was surprised at one thing in particular. That is, he could understand the lack of space in this crowded country, but he couldn't get over at how, in Tokyo, and other large cities, the Japanese planted cabbage, right in the middle of the street in the center dividers. The author of the book, being Japanese, couldn't quite understand what this visitor meant, but finally realized that the personwas referring, not to cabbage plants, but to kale. Since hearing this story, I laugh when I drive along the streets of the city and see kale planted in these center dividers. But, since kale is a member of the cabbage family, perhaps this type of mistake isn't all that outlandish. Also in the same category are Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.

Everyone knows the story of how the stork brings babies into the world, but, in England, legend has it that babies come from cabbage patches. Looking at the firm, round cabbage heads, doesn't it seem somehow as though there is, indeed, something very precious inside?

- MT

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