SENECA CO., N.Y. — Love is in the air this February, but that of a different kind, love for a not so popular vegetable that is. With help from the Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Farm to School (F2S) program, schools in Seneca County are showing love and appreciation for their next NY Harvest of the Month, local cabbage. Ontario, Yates, and Wayne county schools are also offering cabbage this month as part of a USDA Farm to School grant through Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES. Food Service Directors are sourcing cabbage from local farms and featuring various recipes on NY Thursdays throughout the month. Nutrition posters, growing and cooking tips, recipe cards, and recipe videos are shared with students and families on Seneca County CCE’s Facebook page and website all month long.
February finally marked the arrival of snow and freezing temperatures this winter, which doesn’t bring to mind harvesting in the garden and bringing fresh produce to the table. However, there are still many local produce items and farm products within our reach this time of year. Lasting 3-4 months in cold storage, local cabbage is one of these items available. Late cabbage harvested in the fall is one crop that, if stored properly, can be found well into winter, if not the very beginning of the next spring season. In fact, local cabbage should be easy to find in our area as New York is ranked second in fresh cabbage production in the US with the Finger Lakes being one of the top growing regions, especially Ontario County.
Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, is rich in phytochemicals, which help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. On top of that, cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin that is needed for healthy skin, teeth, and blood vessels as well as for supporting the immune system and iron absorption, and vitamin K, needed for blood clotting, healing wounds, and building healthy bones. In addition, cabbage is a good source of folate, a B vitamin important for red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth and function. Cabbage also contains fiber and is a prebiotic that aids in a healthy digestive tract by feeding good gut bacteria. This sweet and crunchy veggie can be eaten raw, cooked, or fermented and prepared in a variety of ways, like in salads, soups, or stir-fry. Cabbage pairs nicely with different meats that can also be sourced locally in the wintertime. Show some love to local farms and grab some NY cabbage to use in a couple of our favorite recipes below.
For more F2S recipes, videos, and other educational materials, be on the lookout for weekly updates on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CCEsenecaF2S, including nutrition facts, recipes, learning about local agriculture, and other tips for accessing fresh, local produce. You can also visit the Seneca CCE F2S website, http://senecacountycce.org/farm-to-school, which is home to all of the Seneca County F2S program content.
Recipe: Roasted Cabbage and Apples with Pork Tenderloin (Yields 4 servings)
Recipe: Egg Roll in a Bowl (Yields 6 servings)
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Seneca County
For more articles out of New York, click here.