Week 10: For the cabbage that longed to be a sea flower.

Of all the shared beds at the Tommy Thompson teaching garden, I have a soft spot for the cabbage patch. It was one of the first beds we planted – a row of green conehead cabbage on one side, a red cabbage row on the other. As the season went on, we planted a row of beans down the center – offering a wonderful combination of color on the thin growth of the bean stalk to contrast the sturdy round of a head of cabbage. What I love about the bed though, is within the red cabbage row itself – eight heads of cabbage, all of which were planted on the same day, from the same tray of starts, into the same bed, tended by the same gardener with the same regularity and yet, demonstrating the entire spectrum of growth.

07-21-16 CTGTT The famous cabbage bed
                   For me, this is the ultimate lesson of the teaching garden.                                                       What explains the variation in growth when all variables are kept the same?
07-16-16 CTGTT Cabbage patch.jpg
There’s nature, there’s nurture, and then there is the unique personality of each plant.    This cabbage on the top left is testament to the fact that there are some cabbages who simply long to be sea flowers.

I’ve loved this cabbage bed as a reminder of the unpredictability of the garden. It is a comfort on days when my own bed shows distress and it is humbling when I begin to take credit for the growth of what I’ve planted.

As it goes in the garden, even our favorite beds have their time. And this was the time of the cabbage bed:

07-21-16 CTGTT Cabbage holding wedding party.JPG

07-21-16 CTGTT How many heads?

Alas, with communal cabbage harvest, there comes communal sauerkraut:

07-21-16 CTGTT Shredded cabbage.JPG

07-21-16 CTGTT Kraut

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