How to plant some unusual brassicas and cook with silverbeet

Rob plants kohlrabi, collards and kalettes:
Our veges need to grow in good soil in order to be nutrient-dense for us.
The first part of making good soil is adding carbon in the form of compost. The amount of carbon stored in the soil is the basis of soil fertility. It releases nutrients for plant growth and promotes the structure, biological and physical health of soil.
Secondly, leafy green vegetables thrive on nitrogen so we’ve added well-composted chicken manure to our bed. Alternatives are blood and bone and sheep pellets.
Thirdly, good soils have calcium in them as calcium promotes strong cell growth in our plants. If your bed is slightly acidic, you can add lime. If the pH of your soil is neutral or alkaline, add gypsum, which doesn’t affect pH levels and is a good source of calcium.
Lastly, we like adding rock dust, which has 70 minerals and vitamins in it, to our garden bed. It feeds the plants which in turn feed us.
We don’t dig our fertilisers in as the rain, earthworms and the bacteria and fungi in the soil will work it in for us.
Kohlrabi is ancient vegetable, well-known in Europe, and it’s a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. It’s officially a root crop, although the bulb does grow above the ground. They grow to the size of a beetroot, so plant 15-20cms apart. There are red and green varieties – we find the red variety grows better. Great grated in salads, or added to soups and stews.
Collards too have been grown for centuries. We sometimes call them Dalmatian cabbages – in Europe they’re known as ‘greens’ and in the US as ‘collard greens’. Plant 40-50 cms apart as they grow huge. Pick the leaves off the plant like you would with kale. Good in green smoothies.
Kalettes on the other hand are a new vegetable. Well, they’re around 15 years old and they’re hugely popular in the UK and the US at the moment. . They’re a cross between brussels sprouts and kale. They grow like a brussels sprout plant but have little kales instead of the sprouts.
As it’s too cold for white butterfly and slugs and snails, all we have to do now is net the bed to protect our plants from birds and animals.
See Megan’s recipe for Silverbeet Dahl with Dosa and Nellie’s nutritional advice here…

Image from page 19 of “Armstrong Nurseries” (1940)
Title: Armstrong Nurseries
Identifier: armstrongnurseri1940arms
Year: 1940 (1940s)
Authors: Armstrong Nurseries (Ontario, Calif. ); Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection
Subjects: Nurseries (Horticulture) California Catalogs; Nursery stock California Catalogs; Fruit trees California Catalogs; Ornamental trees California Catalogs; Shrubs California Catalogs; Flowers California Catalogs; Plants, Ornamental California Catalogs
Publisher: Ontario, Calif. : Armstrong Nurseries
Contributing Library: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library
Digitizing Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library

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Armstrong Berries Youngberries Youngberry. Has been popular for some years but has now been re- placed to some extent by the Boysenberry. Remarkable keepers and ship- pers, the berries are deep wine color, changing to jet black, with an ex- quisite piquant flavor. The seeds are so few and soft that they may be considered as practically seedless, and make splendid jams and jellies. Extremely vigorous and heavy producers. Plant on wire trellises 6 to 7 feet apart. Rooted tips, 15c each, $1.25 per 10, $6.00 per 100. CrandaWs Early Blackberry Crandall’s Early Blackberry. (Macatawa.) One of the earliest berries to ripen, producing great quantities of medium size, firm, sweet blackberries, with few seeds and almost no core. It never fails to bear and will grow under more adverse conditions than any other berry, being hardy every- where. It ripens in June and July, with a lighter crop in the fall. The big upright bushes need no support. Plant them 5 feet apart in rows 8 feet apart. 15c each, $1.25 per 10, $6.00 per 100. Himalaya Blackberry Himalaya Blackberry. The canes often reach 40 feet in one season, and bear enormous crops of excellent, medium sized, juicy black berries. Ripens over a long season from June to late fall and provides plenty of berries after Youngberries and Boysenberries are gone. Plant on a trellis 10 feet apart in rows 8 feet apart. 15c each, $1.25 per 10, $6.00 per 100. BOYSENBERRIES 1 (Natural Size) This beautiful big berry should be the very first one select- ed to go into your garden. A few vines will give you all the fruit that the family can use. Boysenberries, Biggest of All Berries Ever since the Boysenberry was introduced we have claimed that it was the very finest berry that could be grown in California. Not only has this proved to be true for California but it seems to do just as well in almost all sections of the United States. The Boysenberry is the largest of all berries, averaging 1V2 to 2 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter. The berries are jet-black, highly flavored, and they pick, keep and ship in a way that brings delight to the heart of a berry grower. Housewives know that they make the very finest pies, jams and preserves. Boysenberries produce exceptionally heavy crops. The big, vigorous vines are simply loaded with the big fruit clusters which start to ripen early, just when berries are most in demand. Boysen has been remarkably hardy and adapable in a wide range of climatic conditions, having safely stood temperatures as low as 14 degrees below zero in the Middle West. How To Grow Them Plant the vines 8 by 8 feet, without irrigation, or 6 by 6 feet, with irrigation. Fertilize the ground with some kind of barnyard fertilizer the first summer after the plants have started to grow well, and again the following winter. Keep the plants well wat- ered during the summer. The vines should be allowed to grow on the ground the first summer after planting, and then trellised be- fore they start to grow the next spring. After the berries have been picked, the old canes which have borne the fruit should be cut off level with the ground and removed. The new canes ap- pearing at that time, which are the fruit bearing canes for the next season, can be allowed to grow on the ground until the fol- lowing spring and then put up on the trellis as before. Price on Boysenberries Each Per 10 Per 100 1-year transplants $ .30 $2.25 $15.00 Strong rooted tips 20 1.50 8.00 (Tips, $40.00 per 1000, 500 at 1000-rate)

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BLAKEMORE STRAWBERRY Texas Wonder Texas Wonder Blackberry. We are indebted to the great State of Texas for this splendid Blackberry which thrives all over the southern half of the United States. The berries on the vigorous vine are large and coal black. They keep and handle exceptionally well and are very attractive to look at, and the plants bear so heavily that in the ripening season they are literally black with berries. Trailing the first summer but grown as a bush thereafter. Plant 4 feet apart in rows 8 feet apart. You’ll be enthusias- tic over your vines of Texas Wonder. 25c each, $2.00 per 10, $12.00 per 100. California’s Finest Strawberry Red Raspberries Cuthbert. The deep red fruit is large, firm, sweet and fine flavored, borne on tall, heavily foliaged plants. The fruit is sold on the Los Angeles market as Casberry. It is by far the finest red Raspberry for this section and most other sections. Plant 2 feet apart in rows 6 feet apart. 15c each, $1.25 per 10, $5.00 per 100. Black Raspberries Munger. This is the finest Black Cap that we have observed under Califor- nia conditions, producing great quan- tities of large jet-black berries, sweet and highly flavored, never dry and seedy. This variety does best in Cali- fornia, the plants are bigger, more heavily foliaged and protect the berries better. 15c each, $1.25 per 10, $8.00 per 100. — 17 —

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