Cabbages Cabbages, Mustards, Turnips & Radishes

The Brassicaceae or Brassicas (formerly Cruciferae) are all called "Mustards" by Botanists. This huge family accounts for most of the winter greens and root vegetables humanity has depended on to make it through 'till spring. Americans, with seemingly limitless supplies of cheap meat and potatoes, have held cabbages in disregard, but would do well to become more familiar with them for reasons of health, variety, economy, and because properly prepared they taste good.


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Wild Cabbage Wild cabbage, shown in the photo, is native to the coasts of western and southern Europe. All our familiar Western cabbages, including cauliflower, broccoli, kale and others, were developed from this wild plant by human intervention. Asian "cabbages", in contrast, are mostly turnips, but have been similarly breed into many varieties. The Brassica Family Tree explains the relationships.   Photo by MPF distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike v3.0.

In China, even today, apartments with balconies are preferred so there's a cool place to store a mound of cabbages for the winter. Koreans bury huge jars in the ground in which to make chili laced sauerkraut (kimchi) without which no meal would be complete. Germany wouldn't really be Germany without sauerkraut, now would it? Where would the Slavic and Nordic countries be without Cabbage, Turnips and Radishes? Probably depopulated. In past times these vegetables meant the difference between survival and not.

Cabbage Greens Greens

Head & Loose Leaf Greens.
Asian Greens

Arugula Herbs
Watercress
Arugula, etc.
Cabbage Flowers Flowers & Pods

Broccoli, Cauliflower.
Radish

Cabbage Roots Roots

Radishes, Turnips, etc.

Tianjin Cabbage Pickles & Preserves

Sauerkraut, Kimchi, etc.

Mustard Seeds and Oils Seeds & Oils
Cabbage Family Brassica Family Tree Other Brassicales Other Brassicales
Capers, Nasturtiums,
Drumsticks, Papayas,
etc.
cb_cabbage 2008 r 101224   -   www.clovegarden.com
©Andrew Grygus - agryg@clovegarden.com - Photos on this page not otherwise credited are © cg1 - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page permitted