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FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI

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Post  Furbalsmom on 7/22/2011, 3:43 am

FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  Kohlra10

Kohlrabi is a bit intimidating if you haven’t been around it. This strange shaped plant (it has been compared to both the old sputnik and even a hot air balloon) is something worth our interest and a bit of room in our SFGs. Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family and is grown for its swollen turnip shaped portion of the stem. The round bulb looks like it has been dug from the earth, but is really a swollen stem that grows above the ground.

FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  Kohlra11

This plant is good as both an early spring season crop and a fall crop and can stand some frost. It is also suggested that small plantings be made very two weeks to allow for a more continuous harvest. Kohlrabi seed is sown 1/4 inch deep and thinned to approximately 4 inches apart. This converts to 9 plants per square in SFGing. Abundant moisture is required to prevent the edible bulb from becoming tough and woody. Seeds can be started inside if desired. Remember this is not a root crop.

Colors include white, green and purple skinned bulbs, with the purple being the sweetest. The skin coloration is superficial and the edible portion of the bulb is usually a pale ivory color.

Kohlrabi is subject to cabbage worms, so either protect the plants with fine netting to keep out the cabbage butterfly, or be prepared to use a product such as BT to treat for cabbage worms.

The taste and texture of kohlrabi is similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but the flesh is milder and sweeter tasting and there is a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The best size for harvesting is between one and three inches across. Larger sizes tend to become tough and woody.

Kohlrabi is a good source dietary fiber; one half cup raw sliced kohlrabi contains 5 grams of fiber. The same one half cup contains 25 IU of Vitamin A, 43.4 mg. Vitamin C, 11.3 mcg folic acid and 16.8 mg. calcium. It is low in both sodium and calories. One half cup diced and cooked kohlrabi contains only 40 calories.

Tiny kohlrabi does not need to be peeled before serving raw, but medium to large kohlrabi should be peeled before serving.

Raw, kohlrabi can be sliced or julienned and served with a creamy dip, or it can be grated for use in a slaw, but make sure you salt the grated kohlrabi and drain for 20 minutes to reduce the amount of moisture in your dish.

Kohlrabi can also be steamed or boiled, in this case, do not peel until after they are cooked.

The following are links to various methods of preparing kohlrabi. Be sure to try some of the recipes yourself.

KOHLRABI AND APPLE SLAW

SIMPLY RECIPES - KOHLRABI

EPICURIOUS - KOHLRABI
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Post  sherryeo on 7/22/2011, 8:38 am

Way cool, FM. I just turned on the computer to briefly check the forum before I head in to work - yes, I'm that addicted to the forum! - and found the rookie topic already here! Good job! This is one veggie I plan to try this fall, so this will be very helpful! Thanks much!
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Post  FarmerValerie on 7/22/2011, 8:41 am

GREAT read!!!
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Post  boffer on 7/22/2011, 9:44 am

I grew some this spring for the first time and enjoyed them. I just stir fried them in olive oil and garlic.

I had planted one per square which was a waste of space. I had decided to do 4 or 5 per square this fall. At your suggestion, I'll try one square with 9. I think the leaves will be over-crowded, not the bulbs.

(not my picture)
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Post  Lavender Debs on 7/22/2011, 10:15 am

I actually forgot that I planted a square of mixed kohlrabi, it is in the shade of snow peas. Mine are from a package of mixed white and purple and looks rather pretty in their square.
FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  Garden10
I had planted mine 12 to a square. This is my first year and it was suggested to me that I will want to use them raw in salad when they are about the size of a smallish radish AND that the others will grow as I harvest.
FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  Garden11
Hope they have not become chicken food.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/22/2011, 12:49 pm

I knew someone would do kohlrabi soon, Boffer. Nice job; great write-up!
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Post  madnicmom on 7/22/2011, 1:25 pm

I seen Kohlrabi for the first time at a farmer's market 2 weeks ago. Good thing I didn't purchase one, they were the size of softballs! I planned on donating a square this fall for them to try, I'm not much of a veggie person but I'm growing different things this year to get my family to try ( including myself). Great write up and thank you to all the RH's for donating your time to educate us!
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Post  Mamachibi on 7/22/2011, 3:07 pm

I love kohlrabi and am so thankful for the instructions on SFGing it! For years it appeared on those "healthiest vegetables" lists right after "kale", another veggie I didn't know about until recently. I love it, especially when the bulbs are small and picked that day.
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Post  CindiLou on 7/23/2011, 4:55 pm

I love kohlrabi! I plant mine 16 to a square because I like them little so I can thin every other one and let the rest get bigger for french fries!
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Post  shannon1 on 7/24/2011, 2:15 am

@boffer wrote:I grew some this spring for the first time and enjoyed them. I just stir fried them in olive oil and garlic.

I had planted one per square which was a waste of space. I had decided to do 4 or 5 per square this fall. At your suggestion, I'll try one square with 9. I think the leaves will be over-crowded, not the bulbs.

(not my picture)
FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  79310
Don't forget Boffer you can eat the greens too. I will be planting mine 16 per like CindyLou and eating babies and greens. You have the happiest kohlrabi I have ever seen.
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Post  duhh on 7/24/2011, 4:53 am

Thanks for posting this. I learned alot. We found some at the farmers market this spring and love it. We also use it for juicing. I ordered green and purple for the fall garden and can't wait till it cools off to plant them. Also, never thought of picking small to use in salads. Smile
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FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  Empty Ate Fresh Kohlrabi Saturday

Post  Furbalsmom on 7/24/2011, 6:38 pm

Someone donated a single kohlrabi transplant to the Grow UR Grub kids bed in our community garden. Only one kid showed up this weekend, but we each (Kid, Master Gardener, Garden Sponsor and Me) got a quarter of this one. Yummy!

Just picked from the garden FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  Kohlra12

Slice and Peel before serving FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  Ready_11
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Post  boffer on 7/24/2011, 6:56 pm

Well, FM, you influenced me. Yesterday I planted 162 kohlrabi seeds. 18 squares at 9 per.

My warm crops are doing so poorly that I probably won't have anything to pickle. Dilly kohlorabi anyone?! Very Happy
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Post  sherryeo on 7/24/2011, 7:16 pm

Mercy, Boffer, your family can't possibly eat that much kohlrabi, can they? So......when are you hosting the first annual Kohlrabi Party for the whole forum? FRIDAY'S ROOKIE TOPIC XV, KOHLRABI  807243
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Post  madnicmom on 8/24/2011, 12:53 pm

Just found the seeds at Menard's. Burpee white early vienna for $1. now to get them in the garden. I'm only planting one square or going to try them in Gutter gardening. Wish me Luck!
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Post  Furbalsmom on 8/25/2011, 7:46 pm

Kim, keep us posted on how they do for you.

I just planted some a couple of weeks ago in a non-square foot garden and some have germinated and the little sprouts are coming up. The community garden is a lot harder to water and keep the soil moist for seedlings.

Added two squares to my SFGarden just this week. At least I know it will stay moist for easier germination there.
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Post  madnicmom on 8/25/2011, 9:17 pm

Sure will, I ended up planting 2 squares today.
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Post  madnicmom on 8/29/2011, 11:13 am

Kohlrabi are now showing themselves. I found 15 of the 18 I planted. We have had low to mid 80's temps and I've kept them moist as taught by you all. Thank you!
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Post  southern gardener on 11/14/2011, 10:20 pm

Kohlrabi is a cultivar of the cabbage. Its name means “cabbage turnip” and has a mild flavor reminiscent of these two vegetables. You can peel and slice kohlrabi thinly and put it raw in salad. Or, you can cook it just as you would a beet or turnip, covered in water and simmered until tender. Then, cube it and toss with a little olive oil or butter, salt and pepper and it is ready to eat. The greens, too, are edible. Take the smaller, newer leaves, trim them and cook as you would beet greens, until they are tender. Drain well and serve with some crumbled, fried bacon, a little of the bacon fat and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
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Post  newstart on 1/3/2012, 10:40 pm

I have seen these at the store will try to eat and see if we like them, before thinking about planting them
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Post  CharlesB on 1/3/2012, 11:31 pm

Eating a kohlrabi while in the garden, fresh from the ground, is the highlight of my gardening season every year. However, if I wait and put them in the fridge for even a day, I don't like them.

Eat them young and fresh, right while standing in the garden. Can add a bit of salt to taste.

If you get the right cultivar you can even grow the giant ones, and have them be that good fresh from the garden at 10, 12 or even more inches across. Jung has a hybrid that will do this and not get woody.

They grow quick so plant them in a small space in the garden and eat them young if you want to try them. Eat them fresh though. If you get one from the supermarket you will wonder what all the fuss is about and never grow them.
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Post  miinva on 1/4/2012, 5:01 pm

The first time I tried kohlrabi I found it at the farmer's market and picked it up on a lark. I used this recipe and it was wonderful! I'm now a fan. Smile I haven't tried it fresh from the garden, I'll have to remember that.
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Post  LaborDay RN on 1/4/2012, 9:10 pm

I'm so glad this post resurfaced. Thank you Furbalsmom for all the information. This is one I'm absolutely going to try!
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Post  newstart on 1/17/2012, 8:12 pm

Hmm tried one from the store. I think I may not be a fan But if can get the seeds cheap enough may give it a shot in the future. I have a few more will try to cook it a different way
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Post  RoOsTeR on 1/17/2012, 8:35 pm

newstart, Charles posted this above:

They grow quick so plant them in a small space in the garden and eat them young if you want to try them. Eat them fresh though. If you get one from the supermarket you will wonder what all the fuss is about and never grow them.

I have never grown Kohlrabi before. This year will be my first time trying Very Happy I will say I have had various luck purchasing it from the market. I have the best luck with the smaller ones. The larger ones I have purchased seem really woody and somewhat tough. I prefer mine peeled and sliced, and eaten raw sprinkled with salt and pepper, or tossed in salad.

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