Meet Kohlrabi

Try it once; you'll love it forever.

Kohlrabi is versatile. Lightly steam it as vegetable serving. Add it into soups and stews. Sliver it raw for coleslaw. It's a never-soggy chip for dips.

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Cut a thin full round, layer on salsa, salami, cheese and eat raw (refreshing summer lunch) or broil or three to five minutes for a pizza.

Eat the bulb at any size, from hardball to super-softball. The flesh is greenish white and has a mild, almost sweet flavour when the bulb is small and young. The flavour sharpens as the bulb ages and grows. Leaves are also edible, raw when young/small in salads, slaws, and cooked when older/larger.

Kohlrabi forms as an above-ground bulb. It needs room, as the mature harvestable plant is about 45 cm (18") tall and wide. However, Kohlrabi grows in cool weather, making it a perfect spring and fall crop. It can be alternated with tall hot weather crops like tomatoes, pepper and staked cucumber.

Think of a 30 cm (12") checkerboard layout. Plant seedlings now for June-July eating (as dip vehicle or coleslaw) in the black squares.

At the end of May, plant heat-loving tomatoes, pepper, cucumber between your large and soon to be harvested kohlrabi, in the white squares. You'll eat kohlrabi while tomatoes grow, making space.

Then in August-September, plant seedling between mature tomatoes. As the tomatoes die with cold weather, kohlrabi grows, but more slowly, just right as a hot dish from October to frost.

Editor’s note: The South Delta Garden Club is providing a weekly article to the Optimist, which will appear on-line on the Optimist website every Tuesday.

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