Tuesday, 9 October 2007
Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
According to Seedsavers Exchange, this cabbage was first grown in the U.S. in New Jersey in the 1840's. Hence the Jersey name; also it was a variety developed using "Wakefield" cabbage, then popular in England. The early part comes from the fact that it is a quick-maturing variety, ready to pick in about 2 1/2 months from transplanting.
I got this one at the Meaford Farmers' Market; I have previously read about them, but I haven't seen one before. Sources say that it's an excellently flavoured cabbage, but may become strong if grown in hot weather. Thus it is often grown as a spring or fall cabbage, although it is also said to store well. I say often; it's a well-known heirloom cabbage, but this is the first one I have seen. Mine was certainly delicious; tender, sweet, not overly strong but indubitably cabbage.
It is described as solid, but I believe these pyramidal cabbages are an intermediate form between the loose, leafing varieties and the head varieties, and won't be quite so solid as a head-forming cabbage.