Ode to Brassicas in a Northern Clime

Brassicas in a Northern Clime

rule like dinos in another time

if you plant early spring, they’ll bolt to seeds

when you let them go, they displace the weeds

Kale  leaves
Kale leaves

root veg, tight heads, stem, or leaf,

all flower with four-lobed motif

sprouting in days

evolved so many ways

the harvest fills trugs

just watch out for slugs

Patch of kale
Patch of kale

The very cold-tolerant Brassica family can give us Northerners a huge harvest all the way up to Thanksgiving–sometimes even Christmas–without protection.

Also known as cruciferous vegetables for the resemblance of their 4-petaled flowers to a cross. Their seedlings also have four lobes: two on each of the cotyledons, which emerge before the true leaves appear.

They are grown for different edible parts, varying from flowers (broccoli and cauliflower), to roots (radishes and turnips), to leaves or heads of leaves (kale, arugala, bok choi, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), to stems (kohrabi), or both florets and stems (broccoli rabe and hon tsai tai).

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