I've noticed that the couve tronchuda Henry Dodson grows is a heading type, the most commonly available CT in the US is non-heading. I've never tried Beira F1 which is just recently available from several catalogs.
Post by seedsaver091011 on Feb 1, 2018 11:50:30 GMT -5
My great aunt gave me some couve seeds from Portuguese cabbage/kale plants that her late husband has been growing in the U.S. since the 1950s. He brought seeds with him from the Azores when they moved to the U.S. She told me there would be white and yellow flowers, and that ideally I should only collect seed from one flower color, but she could not remember which. Anyway, she said, it tastes good either way.
Does anyone know if a certain variety (i.e., Tronchuda, Galega) is more prevalent in the Azores? I have seen both white and yellow flowers on the plants I I have grown from seed. After 4 years of planting, I am also noticing some different shapes and forms.
seedsaver091011 my inlaws are Azorean, some here in the US and lots still back on San Miguel. I'd say that if they are growing a couve that actually has a variety name then they grew it from purchased seed. When my mother-in-law talks about vegetables they grew when she was a kid she doesn't ever talk about specific varieties names. My impression of village agriculture that is still going on to some extent is that its pretty landracy. I know when my mother-in-law was growing up they grew their own seed, and maintained their own varieites, it was a very subsistence agriculture lifestyle. But they didn't have names for stuff like "bloody butcher" or whatever. They grew two different colors of corn, a yellow and a white, and they used different fields for each and kept them separate. They had multiple different types of sweet potato and potato, but she just talks about them by color or size, not by name. Also russian kale, kale, collards, and similar greens like Senposai (which I'm sure they didn't have when she was a kid) she just calls them "couves".
Post by seedsaver091011 on Feb 24, 2018 19:42:31 GMT -5
Thank you! This is very helpful.
Two of my plants bolted. One looks more like an open-headed cabbage, and the other like kale. Despite the differences in leaf shape and color, they both have a nice, semi-sweet cabbage taste. I was hoping that the flower colors would be different, but both are white. However, the flower buds on the plant that looks more like cabbage are densely clustered, while the buds on the "kale" are loosely formed.
The tendency for lack of awareness of varietal names is a perennial problem with my helpers, often extending to failure to notice differences between vaguely similar plants, as in: I told you to take out the wild onions, but you also took out all the Narcissus, or: I told you to take out the Crocosmia, but you also took out the Douglas and Bearded Irises.
I'm not expecting knowledge of the names; showing exactly the type of plants to rip seems no guarantee of comprehension.
Species identification is different. In the situation of my MIL village, I doubt anything much had "variety" names, and I doubt many if anyone knew or cared about taxonomy, but they knew all the crops and trees and vines and wild plants without any trouble. One big exception to that were figs and grapes. They had many varieties of each, and they all had very specific names. But I think pretty much any leafy cabbage family crop was "couves".
Quite right; it's the lack of recognition of species that is my problem with workers; people tend to split hairs about things that are important to them: Inuit on differences in snow, Oaxacan indians on differences in masa.
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