alliums ameraucana Anthony Bourdain aphids Appleseed Permaculture aquaponics arthritis artichokes Asian Vegetables aussie basil baby chicks baby turnips bearss lime bee keeping beet greens beneficial insects benner tree farm Biochar Bitter Melon blight blooming hill farm boothby blonde cucumber brix broccoli brussels sprouts cabbage cabbage hill farm camp hill farm cancer caraflex celeriac chicken coop chickens children chinese tamale chives cilantro cilantro root coconut cold frames collard greens Compost coriander corn crop rotation cruciferous crucifers cucumber Dan Barber dan kittredge Dave Llewellyn detox dirty dozen dragon fruit Dutch white clover dwarf citrus eggplant Elderberries factory farms farm to table farmer's market farmers markets Fava beans ffarm to table fish oil flea beetle flowers food allergies food combining food miles founding farmers four wind growers Fred Kirschenmann french bulldog G6pd deficiency garlic garlic festival garlic scapes geese Glynwood grass-fed beef Great Outdoors Listening Tour green tomatoes greenhouse growing indoors Hanalei Hemlock Hill Farm heritage turkey heritage USA hudson valley farms hurricane Irene hyssop iced tea infections influenza Insect control isothiocyanates joan gussow jolie lampkin joong kaffir lime kale Kauai kohlrabi korean licorice mint Ladybugs late blight leeks lettuces local food locust tree maine avenue fish market menhaden meyer lemon mycelia mycorrhizal natural fertilizers nectary nightshades No Reservations Nurse cropping nutrient density okra organic Baby food organic christmas tree Organic Pest Control Parsley Paul tappenden peas Permaculture pesticides pesto petite watermelon plant sap pH plymouth barred rock pole beans potatoes preserving food purple basil qunice Radish Greens rainbeau ridge farm raised beds rampicante raw food real food campaign red hook Rockland Farm Alliance ronnybrook farm row covers salt-preserved duck eggs sambucus nigra seed saving seedlings Sheet mulching small space soil analysis soil blocks soil conductivity sorrel Squash Vine Borer star fruit sugar snap peas sustainability sustainable fishing Swiss Chard tabbouleh TEDx Manhattan terracing three sisters tomato sauce tomatoes trellis trovita orange turkana farms Tuttle Farm urban zen volt white clover winter harvest Winter Squash Young Farmers Conference
Indispensable Books and Resources
  • Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
  • The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    by Eliot Coleman
  • The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    by Gary F. Zimmer
  • The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    by Barbara Damrosch
  • 1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    Organic Insect Control
  • Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.

    The best farming and growing magazine money can buy!

  • Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks
    Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks

    2" Soil Blocker

  • Mini Soil Blocker
    Mini Soil Blocker
  • New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    by Emily Brooks
  • What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    by Tasneem Bhatia, Editors of Prevention







Short journal entries detailing the nuts and bolts of our ventures in growing food at our micro-farm

Entries in caraflex (1)


Weekly Musings: The Curious Cabbage

Aerial view of the Caraflex cabbageThis growing season has been unusual.  Lilacs blossomed 2 weeks earlier in the spring and the crepe myrtles that are normally late bloomers in August, are already on the way out in mid July.  As other growers and gardeners in our area have confirmed, the sustained heat wave accompanied by a very buggy season filled with cucumber beetles, squash vine borers, earwigs and slugs, has made for challenging growing conditions.  Heat came on early, big and strong this summer forcing a premature end to peas, sugar snaps, lettuces and mustard greens.  Surprisingly, the cabbage, traditionally a cool-loving crop, has managed to form beautifully in the heat with little fuss.  Well, that is, certain varieties of cabbage are doing well.  Napa or Chinese cabbage was devastated by earwigs that set up hotels deep between the leaves and left us with doily cabbage heads that soon after, bolted from the heat.  We are having success with two varieties of cabbage that we picked because of their compact nature.  Many people do not grow cabbage in their home gardens because of the space requirement.  Makes little sense to build 1 story homes on a city block when you can put up skyscrapers, right?  We grew them anyway to experiment and promote a polyculture farm and chose these two varieties: a mini red cabbage and a funny-looking cone shaped pointed mini cabbage called Caraflex. From a small farm financial standpoint it seems crazy to grow things that are so space intensive.  Flying Tomato Farms in South Dakota estimated that with the space, labor, and materials it takes to harvest 15 cabbages from a 25 foot row in their small farm, they should charge $21 per cabbage head to make up for the gross amount that can be made in the same space growing a lettuce mix.  They opted not to charge that amount and instead, viewed the small cabbage harvest as a treat.


As part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, cabbage produces sulfur and nitrogen containing glucosinolates.  That breaks down to form isothiocyanates which may help to prevent cancer by helping to eliminate carcinogens and enhancing the transcriptions of tumor suppressing proteins in the body.  Many of these compounds contribute to the distinctive bitter and sulphur tasting qualities and are decreased with high heat cooking or microwaving.  Summer heat and drought will increase levels of isothiocyanates increasing the bitterness and the cooler temperatures of fall will make for milder tasting crucifers.  There are particular isothiocyanates that can interfere with thyroid function particularly if there is an iodine deficiency which is becoming more and more common with the increased use of sea salt and the demineralization of our soils.

Interestingly, cabbages with open leaves accumulate more vitamin A and C and carotenoids than heading varieties whose inner leaves never see the light of day.  Caraflex is a heading variety and the benefit of these cabbages is their higher sugar content and better storage life.  Caraflex will keep in the refrigerator 8 weeks after harvest.





Recipe: Cabbage and Fennel with Parsley Lemon Butter in Egg Noodles

Serves 2 hungry people

1/2 small Caraflex or Savoy cabbage
1 large fennel bulb, cored
1 large leek, white part only
4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
juice and zest of 1 lemon (Meyer lemon if you have)
3 Tablespoons of parsley or chervil
8 oz egg noodles (I used spaetzle)

1. Cut cabbage, fennel and leeks into thin slices, wash but don’t dry.

2. Cook egg noodles in boiling, salted water and drain.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large wide skillet.  Add vegetables and 1/2 tsp of salt.  Cover pan and cook gently for 10 minutes checking halfway to make sure there is enough moisture in the pan so there is steaming and not browning of the vegetables.  Meanwhile, simmer lemon juice in a small pan until slightly reduced.  Remove from heat and whisk in remaining butter.

4. Finely chop lemon zest with the parsley.  Add half in the butter mixture and the other half to the vegetables.

5. Combine the noodles, vegetables and zest-herb mixture in a large bowl and taste for additional salt and pepper.


 Recipe adapted from Deborah Madison's book Local Flavors