Year of the Brassica
Origin: Western Europe, Mediterranean and temperate regions of Asia
Includes: Bok choy, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, Collards, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radish, Rutabagas, Turnips
Fun Fact: The Chinese philosopher Confucius, before dying in 479 B.C., wrote more than 300 songs describing life in the Chou dynasty. Many of the songs were agriculturally themed and named over 40 foods of the time, including cabbage.
A Bit of History: Highly nutritional, providing a source of vitamin C and fiber, most members of the garden Brassicas all belong to the same species: Brassica oleracea. Simple and natural mutations led to the development of large leaves in kale and collards, while other mutations led to the development of heads in cabbage, arrested flower development in broccoli and cauliflower, or prolific development of axillary buds in Brussels sprouts.
Breeders: American Takii, Bejo Seeds, Sakata, Seeds by Design, Seminis, Syngenta
Source: National Garden Bureau.