Seed Saving: Intermediate
Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)
Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes): This cabbage variety is very different from the others. The lower part of the stem (called torsa) creates a globe-shaped enlargement, slightly detached from the ground. It has a fleshy consistency and allows for numerous preparations, cooked or raw.
Its leaves are also edible and have a great, sweet, fresh taste.
Easy to grow, undemanding to the soil and cold resistant. However, it suffers with temperatures below zero, it can be grown in both, spring and winter, avoiding only the hottest months. It can be kept for a long time after the harvest.
All these features make it an excellent product for winter gardens. The only trick is to collect it before it is completely ripe so that the torsa remains tender. It grows very quickly with temperatures between 16º and 26º, reaching harvest size (about 10-12 cm) in 60-70 days.
It should be properly watered during summer cultivation, otherwise the torsa will break.
Kohlrabi in Italy:
This cabbage/turnip has never been very popular in Italy despite its many characteristics that make it an excellent product. It is widely produced in the Agro Pontino area (mid Italy) but it's all destined for the northern European market. In the kitchen, it is consumed both, raw and cooked, being the latter its most suitable way of consumption.