Last summer, my friend Alex gave me a packet of kohlrabi seeds that she had purchased on a recent visit with her family in Switzerland. The instructions were in German, but I thought I could figure out what I needed to know: you plant them in early spring for a summer crop or mid-summer for a fall crop. I thought it odd that the illustrations suggested starting the seeds indoors, but hey, who am I to question Swiss ingenuity?
So I planted my kohrabi and watched them grow. Huh, I though. They look a lot like broccoli.
Then last week I started poking around the soil. I had seem some kohlrabi at my local farmer’s market, and some of my beets were starting to show their shoulders, so surely the kohlrabi should be on its way, right? But when I pushed the dirt around, no sign of a root vegetable. Disappointing.
Then I looked up. Then I smacked myself on the forehead. As you can see in the picture, that little knob of kohlrabi deliciousness forms ABOVE GROUND, as a sort of engorged part of the stem. Um, obviously. That part of the description must have been in German.
My understanding is that I should harvest them when they reach about 3″. They’re planted too close together, so I may not have much choice in the matter…but now that I know what I’m doing I’m definitely going to plant another batch for fall, this time giving them more room to breathe.
Clearly, I’m a kohlrabi novice. What do they taste like, anyway? I’m guessing a cross between broccoli stems and turnips? Can anybody fill me in?