Ethiopian Cabbage for your Rasta Garden

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Ethiopian cabbage is an ancient variety with high nutritional value

Brassica abyssinicum
Family Brassicaceae

Ethiopian Cabbage is a beautiful large open leafed cabbage that grows to a height of about 1.5m and a width of about 1m with small yellow flowers. It is related to Kale and the Collard Green eaten in America’s deep south and is very ancient in origin.

The great thing about this annual vegetable is it’s hardiness. It will self seed and thrive in many climates and soils and is high in nutrients. It can be picked on leaf at a time or the whole plant can be eaten at one sitting. It has a mustardy flavour and could be classified as a bitter green.

This plant will self seed prolifically however it likes a well composted soil and water in the early stages. In Australia we sow it in Autumn with our other Brassicas and grow and eat over winter saving a few plants for seed collection in early Summer.

Ethiopian cabbage will cross with other Brassicas and several plants need to be kept for seed so they can pollinate each other. Harvest seed when the pods are brown and crisp. Put the seed heads in a fertilizer bag and then stomp on it. The small black/brown seeds will fall to the bottom of the bag. Store seed in a dark cool dry place as will other seeds.

This seed can be purchased from our shop. To prepare for eating you can try this recipe. Chop the vegetable finely, saute some onion in coconut oil until clear, then add chilli (no seeds) and then cabbage. Add a little water and steam off. It can also be added to soups and stews. Another great option is to slice up and steam with mustard greens, tomato, garlic and salted cod.

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