The King of all Cabbages

Look at this, Walking Stick Cabbage. I am not sure if I am going to grow it. It was however, unique enough to post.

Origin: Jersey and Guernsey Channel Islands; English & French coastlines.
First advertised for retail sales 1827. First retail offering in North America 1841.
Giant Walking Stick Cabbage is a very ancient strain of Celtic cabbage.
Leaves, picked from oldest to newest, working upwards (which makes the plant grow taller), are used in traditional cabbage soups and stews, and medicinally for digestion and skin problems (burns, infections and acne). In Victorian times, cabbage was deemed "poverty food" and rejected as such. This predjudice lingers to this day, despite the fact that cabbage contains vital nutrition to the human body.
The rock-hard, stronger than bamboo stalks are dried for 8-10 months, before worked into canes, hiking sticks, etc., like wood. Stalks are often used for vining plant supports, arbors and fences.
An average 2-3 inch GWS stalk can hold 200 lbs. Young, growing plants can be bent and shaped with wide cotton tape, allowing for handles to be grown on canes. 20% shrinkage over the drying period must be expected.
In it's lifetime, GWSC will grow 4-7 feet in one year of growth. Left alive to grow it's second year, it may reach up to 20 feet tall.
Walking Stick Kale is a poster child for multi-purpose garden plants. Edible, medicinal, ornamental and yielding material for other uses, this brassica oleracea variety is regaining popularity in home gardens.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your interesting blog, just found it today. The walking stick kale information was very useful, I'll definitely try it. I have seen the seeds for sale before but didn't realise it has all those uses.

All the tropical plants are nice to learn about, although the interest must remain purely theoretical as I suppose most of them can't be reasonably grown indoors here.

I was originally looking for information about how high humidity Medinilla wants. My first one slowly perished and I want to manage better this time. It has already managed to not care about the night temperature dropping near 10 degrees Celsius a few times. All the literature says it needs at least 15 but I suppose that is more likely to mean constant temp.

I'll have a look at your blog again, I'm sure. Enjoy your life!

Mari from Finland