How to Harvest and Store Kohlrabi
One thing that I wanted to be better about this year in the garden was documenting our harvests. Somehow, while I did start the season by writing in my garden journal, I have not kept up with it at all. I feel that now I am too deep into the season to pick it back up and even figure out what was left out. Ugh! This tends to happen, I think, because I so often write in this space. Writing the same things down in a journal feels like too much to think about most days. I have been looking back at our blog for most of the year anyway to see when we harvested last year, or when the squash bugs started to come out. It's been a great resource for me, and I hope you feel the same.
With the idea that documenting my harvests is important, I figured that fit pretty well with some new blog posts! Last year, I hardly photographed the things I harvested and rather took pictures of the plants themselves. Now that we are trying to sell our produce, sharing photos of the final product is pretty important! I guess you can now see where my priorities lie, though I still love photographing plants. Why not share more information about how to harvest and store certain plants? That sounds fun! Today we're talking all about kohlrabi.
Kohlrabi is a vegetable in the brassica family, related to broccoli and cabbage. It is a root-like plant that grows above ground as a bulb and send off long stalks with cabbage-esque leaves on top. They are mild in flavor and have a consistency similar to a potato (at least I think so) and have a sweet taste like turnips. A lot of people around these parts love kohlrabi, or so I am learning! It's probably the most popular vegetable in our CSA. I should have planted more! Good thing I have the autumn season to try again. They are high in vitamin C and fiber, growing best in spring and autumn.
how to harvest
As kohlrabi grows, you will notice that it begins to form a small bulb near the base of the plant. Once this bulb is young and tender, about 2.5 to 4 inches in diameter, it is time to harvest. The roots are not incredibly deep, but they do reach out wide. Pulling the plant out is a bad idea! You will get a lot of soil coming out with the plant, disrupting the other nearby. It is best to cut the kohlrabi out with a sharp knife and leave the roots in the ground to compost.
Once cut from the ground, you can either choose to cut the stems and leaves off the bulb completely or keep them in tact. The leaves are edible, so definitely save them for yourself as a salad addition or pesto (or feed them to your chickens). When we go to market, I tend to cut all of the side and lower stalks off, but leave the tops as a decoration. These can be tied together with a twist-tie or piece of twine to keep everything together.
how to store
Kohlrabis keep best in the fridge in your crisper. They are a long-lasting vegetable and will store for up to 3 weeks! The bulbs should remain firm and tender if kept cold.
When you are ready to eat, there are a few ways that you can slice them up. Peel the outer rind. Slice up in a french-fry style or cube for dips, roasting, or frying. I like to add mine to stir fry, though it tastes great salted and eaten raw! If cooking the leaves, saute until tender like a spinach or cabbage leaf.
That's all there is to it! Kohlrabis are a new favorite of mine. I will have to find out more information about why they are so popular here in Iowa! I think it's fascinating to see which vegetables are more easily bought over others. Kale does not seem to be a big winner here, which is too bad... I planted a lot of it! Though on accident as it did so well. My not-so-bumper crop. Ha! More kohlrabis and radishes for me next year. I have a lot of turnips coming up, so let's hope those are just as adored.
Have you tried kohlrabi?