2017 — The Year of the Brassica

Published Mar 19, 2017 at 9:00am

The National Garden Bureau, recognizes Brassica as the vegetable family of the year.

Brassica is known as a cold crop. Brassicas over time and present have been a major food source in our country and around the world.

Members of the Brassica family include bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower,
collards, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, rutabagas, mustard, watercress and turnips.  

Brassica vegetables are high on vitamin C and soluble fiber. They also contain glucosinolates, which helps to reduce the risk of various cancers of the digestive tract.

Red colored brassica plants contain
anthocyanin, which is also a strong anti-
oxidant.  

Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County participates in the All-America Selections

Display Gardens program. For more information about All-America Selections, view their website: all-americaselections.org.  

The master gardener volunteer program grows a variety of regional and national flower and vegetable winners here at the Extension’s Parker F. Scripture Botanical Gardens.

Following are some of the recently named Brassica winners that make great additions to area gardens:

Broccoli Artwork F1, a 2015 national winner

This plant grows best in full sun. The plant reaches 31 inches tall by eight to 10 inches wide. Foliage color is green and when it’s time to harvest broccoli tops turn dark green in color. After harvesting the crown, the side shoots will continue to grow. This plant produces between 10-20 fruits (broccoli heads). This plant is bolt tolerant unlike other kinds of broccoli.

Cabbage Katarina F1, a 2016 national winner

This cabbage plant has a smaller head size four inches in shape and can be grown in containers or in-ground beds. Once the main head of cabbage is harvested, the plant will continue to grow smaller heads. This cabbage has a sweeter taste and less bitter than other varieties. Again this plant grows best in full sun. The cabbage will grow 10 to 15 inches high by 3.5 to 4.5 inches round. It has a light green color.  

Kale Prizm F1, a 2016 national winner

This kale can be grown in containers or in the ground. The plant produces a tight ruffle-edged bright medium green colored leaves. The plant grows upright to 15 inches tall. After harvesting a few leaves at a time this plant will re-leaf, providing one with tasty kale during the growing season. We grew it last year in the gardens and it was true to above description and taste.

Pak Choi Bopak F1, a regional winner

This Pak Choi can be harvested earlier as baby or grown to full-size. It has tender leaves and crisp stalks that can be eaten raw or cooked. It can be used in Oriental recipes, added to soups and stews or grilled. This vegetable can be grown in ground or in containers. This plant needs full to partial sun. It is a cold season vegetable. This plant grows eight inches high by four inches wide. It has dark green colored foliage. The upright heads have white stalks attached to the dark green leaves.

For information on All-America Selections Winners view the website at http://all-americaselections.org. People are also encouraged to visit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County’s website at www.cceoneida.com or call the Horticulture Hot Line, Wednesdays and Fridays 9am to noon at 315-736-3394.