The first morning in August when there is a chill in the air, I think to myself how much I love the change of season from summer to fall. Unlike summer to spring, which often feels like an explosion of green, fall presents itself in bits and pieces; a cool breeze on your skin, golden evening light dancing on your cabbages, a dusting of leaves on your path. I love how Fall teases us with cool weather, only to step back and allow Indian Summer its time in the sun.
Fall vegetables are challenging to grow, because we usually have to start them in the heat of the summer. Most brassicas (because, let’s face it, most of the best fall vegetables belong to this family) don’t germinate well in the heat. We start them indoors, and then cross our fingers that they don’t overheat as transplants, or get overtaken by flea beetles that adore making cabbage leaves into Swiss cheese.
Next year, we will invest in insect netting that will help exclude these little insects without overwhelming the plants with heat. This year, we just got lucky. Our leafy fall Brassica plantings look great. Cabbages are heading up in the shortening days, and the kohlrabi! Yes, we have decided we love kohlrabi (starring in the above photo), and have planted more than ever. Today is the first harvest of this otherworldly vegetable. We can’t wait to bite into the first crispy fresh slice this evening. Kohlrabi is lovely in fall soups and stews, but in our house it rarely makes it past the cutting board. –HAC