Adventures in vegetables and bicycling

The other night as we were again weeding and mulching in our non-photogenic garden, I came upon something unexpected. I had stooped down to check the cabbage leaves for bugs, and this particular cabbage didn’t look very much like a cabbage. The leaves weren’t starting to fold into a cabbage head, and something appeared to be coming up from the root.

Yes, a round, purple vegetable was definitely coming up from the root. I knew I hadn’t planted any turnips, but that’s vaguely what it looked like.

I asked my husband, who was nearby working on the peppers, if he’d come and look. He thought maybe the cabbages were diseased or something, but once he looked he diagnosed the “problem” immediately. He proclaimed it a rutabaga.

I didn’t think we’d planted any of those either. But we had bought our cabbages started in small 4-packs from a little nursery stand, and it’s quite likely they weren’t all labeled. Or they were labeled and we grabbed one anyway.

(We had to get all these cabbages because my husband got a grand idea that we should make our own sauerkraut. So far so good at least, as the cabbages are all growing well.)

It turns out we had four rather large rutabaga to be picked. They’re on the left.
How does one eat this much rutabaga in one sitting, you ask?

Well, mostly we peeled, chopped and steamed it. Mashed rutabaga can be enjoyed like potatoes, with salt, pepper and lots of butter. We tried some raw as well, and it tastes kind of like kohlrabi but milder. We’ve got plenty of kohlrabi, so I think we’ll cook the rest of this accidental veggie. 🙂

20130814-154843.jpg Purple kohlrabi – it looks so alien, doesn’t it?

The main thing we’re still waiting on is our first red tomatoes. The plants are full of good-size green ones, so I’m hoping it’s not too long.

We also have various squash, but that won’t come until closer to fall. We’re vaguely worried the squash vines are sick with some fungus, so hopefully we figure out what before too long.

On the running front, I’m busy preparing for the Milk Run 5K on the 25th. I’ve been taking advantage of the cool mornings to do at least one faster tempo or interval run each week. I can never run as fast in the summer as I do in fall and winter races, but maybe I can overcome that this year?

In addition to running, I’ll be doing more cross training from now on. JR and I had been riding around older mountain bikes some this summer, and he decided he absolutely wanted something newer and faster. And I finally agreed we sort of needed bikes that weren’t built for our teenage selves.

I’m more content to leisurely spin down the trails, but he definitely views speed as the goal. He’s already faster than me on bike, and soon I’ll bet he will run faster too if he ever decides to come along…

We both got Salsa bikes that are built for multi-surface use. They’re on more of a road bike platform for speed, but the tire tread and components can stand up to some gravel.

I still feel kind of awkward, but I know that means I need to practice. And continue wearing my helmet!
My Salsa Vaya

Apparently I don’t have a picture of JR on his new bike, so here he is at dusk on his trusty old GT.

Last week I ran 17 miles and biked 17 miles, so I seem to be finding an okay mix. I still would rather run, but the $$ spent on the bike are keeping me in check.

If you bicycle regularly, I’d love your tips for becoming a more confident rider, staying safe, and staying more comfortable in the saddle. I already shopped around and ordered a pair of padded bike shorts; I can’t wait until they get here.

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Gardening and Yard Stuff, Running and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Adventures in vegetables and bicycling

  1. GREAT POST! My dad’s mother was german and we used to grow a lot of cabbage so she could come over and help us make kraut. I remember that they would cut the cabbage and put it in the HUGE crocks. My mom’s and dad’s parents are from different origins so grew different vegetables. Both grandparents and my parents had HUGE gardens, so it is in my blood…

    • Lisa says:

      Sounds wonderful! It’s fun to see how gardens change & mix when people bring in their favorites. I’m not sure if we’re doing the big crock method of sauerkraut or not, but that’s definitely the traditional “right way.” 🙂

  2. CultFit says:

    The only “tip(s)” I have to share is to ride safe, have fun and smile. That’s it I promise. Sweet ride by the way!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Love the color of your new bike! Be safe out there.

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