Meet My New Friend, The Kohlrabi

| 12/28/2009 3:38:23 PM

Tags: kohlrabi, vegetable,

A photo of Shannon SaiaOne thing new that I planted this past fall was Early Purple Vienna kohlrabi. I had never even tasted one before, and wasn’t entirely sure what it was. But it seemed interesting in the seed catalog – exotic even – and was a cool season vegetable. So I was game.

I sowed the seeds in early August directly into a bed enriched with manure and peat moss along with the turnips and the rutabaga seeds. Because I’d never planted rutabaga before either, and because we had a lot of heavy rain that moved all the seeds around a bit, when all the seedlings first started coming up I found it really hard to differentiate between the three. It wasn’t until they started to look like this that it became obvious to me which was the kohlrabi.

Young Early Purple Vienna Kohlrabi growing at dusk.

When it comes time to harvest them, kohlrabi are really hard to get out of the ground. You have to cut through the stem at the base of the bulb, and it takes some effort. There’s also a lot of prep work just to get at the goods. There are all the leaves and stalks to clear away, and they have to be peeled, a task to which with their octopus-like arms present something of a challenge. Why bother?

Well, here’s my reasons:

1. They are really easy to grow. Pretty much all of the seeds I put in came up.

s.m.r. saia
1/22/2010 7:25:01 AM

Thanks Scott! I've been planning out the garden for the coming year, but I haven't ordered my seeds or decided on varieties yet. I did have some issues with woodiness, so I'll see if I can find the Kossak. Sounds great!

scott beine_2
1/1/2010 1:37:56 PM

This year try the Kossack Kohlrabi. The grow twice the size and don't get woody. The largest we had this year was 10 inches in diameter and tasted great! They also keep extremely well as i have just finished the last of are fall crop. Scott

12/28/2009 7:59:41 PM

Shannon, We've never tried kohribai but after your post I can't wait to give it a try. Sounds delicious and I like the thoughts of substituting for potato in recipes. vickie

paul gardener
12/28/2009 5:19:20 PM

We LOVE Kohlrabi at our house. The first year we planted it for that same reasons as you. Because it looked interesting and was a brassica (cold weather lovers) It's become a must plant at our place. We throw it in stews, steam it, put chunks in hobo dinners in place of 'taters because they cook quicker. Yeah, Kohlrabi's a great garden choice! BTW, I always describe it as tasting like broccoli stems too, but that's my favorite part of brocc so hey, perfect! Paul~

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