Brassica oleracea is a remarkable species. You may not know it, but members of this single species all-star team include: cabbage, cauliflower, kale and collards, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
These cool-weather loving plants are perfect for our Alberta climate. Here are a few of our favourites to grow:
Cabbage – Charmant (Brassica oleracea F1) – If you love to eat heathy (and who doesn’t?) then this is the vegetable for you! Cabbage holds the esteemed position of the vegetable that contains the least amount of fat per serving. And, as an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidant phytonutrients, cabbage is a great defender against cancer.
Charmant Cabbage is a sweet and flavourful summer harvest cabbage. The 15-20cm dense heads are blue-green in colour, and weigh 1.5-3kg.
Cabbage is a hardy cool-season crop that does best under cool, moist conditions. It can be direct sown or grown as a transplant, with most heads being ready to harvest in 66 days.
Excellent for home-made slaws and sauerkrauts!
Cauliflower – Cheddar Hybrid (B. oleracea L. var. botrytis) – While this cauliflower doesn't actually contain any cheese, it does have 25 times the beta carotene of regular white Cauliflower, for extra nutrition in every bite!
The eye-catching orange colour intensifies when cooked, adding fantastic colour and bold flavour to any dish it’s added to. And are also great cut raw for snack trays and salads.
Cheddar Cauliflower is just as easy to grow as its white variety, and grows from seed to plate in 5 weeks. It prefers moist soil, lots of sun, and is great in Alberta summers since the cooling temperatures enhance the flavor of this vegetable.
Broccoli - Waltham 29 (Brassica oleracea var. italica) – Broccoli is one of the great treats of summer. Known for producing large heads and long stalks, this long-time favourite is excellent for cooking fresh, frozen, raw or steamed.
The vitamin-rich head is actually a cluster of of tiny flower buds. After the head is harvested, it "sprouts" numerous smaller heads.
This cool-weather relative to cabbage is easy to grow, producing a large head filled with tightly packed florets. It grows best in mostly sunny locations during the cooler parts of the growing season, and prefers rich soil kept fairly moist.