One of my Gloire de Portugal plants has tried to run to seed - I've taken the flowering stalks off - and the flowers were white, which I haven't seen before in a brassica. Is this normal in couves, or is it just this variety?
I've only had a couple of CTs survive winter and bloom, so my knowledge of this is limited, but, my current favorite variety, Mirandela (semi heading) has white flowers.
VT USA zone 3-4 Rural, about .35 acre of gardens. Soil - glacial erratic - some clay/loam some sandy/loam. Cultivation strictly with hand tools - this limits my garden size. I adhere to organic practices. No greenhouse, no polytunnels, etc. www.theextremegardener.com
The Gloire de Portugal have been hammered by the frost. Some have done better than others, so it's probably going to be a case of selecting for a hardier strain, and treating them as an autumn cabbage. I probably need to plant more this year; if I have a couple of doaen plants going into winter, that gives me more chance to select without having too much of a genetic bottleneck.
I had about 60 plants going into winter, under a low tunnel. I took a glance the other day during one of our super-weird thaw days we've been having all Feb. Definitely some losses. I am hoping to have enough survivors to create a Couve Grex/Landrace and reselect for winter hardiness here in the northeast. Definitely seems like some of them are pretty tender, just about everything else under there is doing peachy.
I grew 5 of these that Dan (RIP) generously sent to me.
I was pleased with them althought hey didn't get anything like as big as in the video in my short season, cool conditions. Only one bolted and that was Penca de Chaves Tronchuda - it had white flowers (picture) - so this contradicts the fact that Pencas should be yellow?
Eating my way through the world's 15,000+ edible species
I think Dan sent me 10 varieties, not all of which germinated well in my little trial tray, I was only seeding about 20 plants each. I was looking under the low tunnel yesterday and it looks like I lost about half, this tunnel has been uncovered by the wind twice this winter so that may have something to do with it. The last time I didn't notice until the next day and the rowcover had frozen half-off the hoops so I just re-adjusted the plastic and added more rocks. Dan did state that my set-up is a little flimsy. Compared to his, mine are slapped together cob-jobs. I should have plenty of plants for a viable crossing. I'm excited to see the flower colors.
Last Edit: Feb 20, 2012 5:15:58 GMT -5 by oxbowfarm
I snuck underneath there this afternoon and had a close look. Of the ten varieties Dan sent me only 5 germinated (small trial plantings, not the entire packets). Of those that got planted under the low tunnel, de Valhascos is toast. Most of the Penca de Acucar are dead but a couple are going strong. Just about all the Penca de Chaves is in great shape. Gloria de Portugal is hurting but there are 5-6 plants there that are limping along. Bacalan Grande looks pretty good. Lord-willing-the-creek-don't-rise, there are a good 45 plants there so we should have plenty of seed. I'm intending to allow them to cross indiscriminately ala Señor Lofthouse. There should be enough seed for anybody who wants it, barring disaster or my CDD.
All my CT's were killed off by the last cold snap of the winter. I'll try again next year; it's probably best planted in spring and grown as an autumn cabbage, but obviously something has to come through the winter for propagation. Maybe if I lift them in autumn and put them under cover? There are adapted strains available - the HSL have one which they say is identical to descriptions of the plants grown here in the 19th Century, and Thomas Etty has one - but it would be nice to have more! judging by the results last year, these plants are well worth the effort.
I found this forum because of this discussion. I bought some seed from Trade Winds Fruits, not sure of the variety. I watched The Victorian Kitchen Garden and because of their references to it I decided to try it. The clip that was posted earlier really convinced me, I hate that cabbage smell and I've avoided eating it even though I know it's good for me.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to this discussion, I learned a lot.
I tried Gloire de Portugal and found it had next to no frost resistance. I still have seed in the freezer, but after a couple of arctic winters I've been a bit hesistant about growing it, since I'd want to save seed.