Also known as kohlrabi, it is a member of the cabbage family. With a look of a turnip (growing above ground), the spherical shape bulbs are actually swollen stems. Both the bulb and leaves are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. Although there is debate about its origins, the name comes from the German "Kohl" (cabbage) and Latin "Rapa" (turnip), and is a staple in German speaking countries. Kohlrabi is low in calories, a good source of fiber, calcium and potassium, and a anti-oxidant, with Vitamins A & C.
When the bulbs reach about 3" in diameter, it is time to start harvesting your Kohlrabi. They can be cut about an inch below the bulb or pulled. Remove the leaves (to be used later) and any remaining root. Peel back the outer, fibrous layer before eating or cooking. (Unpeeled bulbs can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks).
I find the vegetable easy to grow and does well in early spring and in the fall. Although is can be started indoors and transplanted into the garden, I have good success with direct sowing in a sunny location. Floating row covers can be used for pest management, if needed.
The biggest problem I find with growing Kohlrabi is that the groundhogs love it!!! Luckily, some of the leaves can actually be removed prior to harvesting the bulbs for sauteing etc. So, although the damaged looked bad, the actual veggie was fine.
|Caught in the act!|
|Ready for harvesting.|
|Root and leaved removed.|
|Peel to reveal a crisp fleshy|
|I decided to eat them raw!|