Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: Is it cole or cold crops?
Yes, it’s C-O-L-E crops, not C-O-L-D crops, although this family of vegetables enjoy cool weather. If you follow the family tree of a cole crop it turns out they are from the Brassica family which is in the genus Mustard and are known as cruciferous vegetables. Cole crops comes from the Latin word caulis, meaning stem or cabbage. A tad convoluted unless you’re of the scientific bend of mind.
Bottom line: Cole crops are really good for you! They include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi and kale. Brussel sprouts too. I’m going to try ‘Octia’ this year. (there’s a first time for everything) There’s ongoing research into all the health benefits but at the top of the list… they’re known to HELP prevent cancer (not that they prevent it), heart disease and stroke. Here’s an article I found called “The World’s Healthiest Foods“. It’s an easier read than the scientific information!
Start your seeds indoors in another week and follow the directions on your seed packet. You can plant your seedlings outside around May 10th. That’s a nice jump start. Make sure you use clean containers or give the seeds their own peat pot. Of course any planting depends on our weather. And, as you know, it’s pretty fickle. Reports of frost so deep it may be June before it’s lifted! No, I’m kidding, I hope! At least with cole crops they like it cool!!
Kale is one of my favorite cole crops! The Olive Garden makes a soup called Zuppa Toscana that I make. I change it up by adding a LOT more kale and broth while lightening up the amount of cream! It’s delicious. I also discovered a beautiful red kale at my local coop. To get the MOST health benefit, it’s best to eat these vegetables raw or just slightly steamed or sautéed. I use them in stir fry a lot!