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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you who grow a fair amount of brassica, or cole crops like brocolli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, kohl rabi, etc.

When you harvest and have all those big leaves around for disposal, do you compost them, feed to your livestock, or what?
I like to chop them up and give to my chickens and poultry, but they really don't like to eat a whole lot of it. Sometimes there's just a pile of those large leaves when harvesting, and I guess the only thing I think to do is put them in the compost heap. Am I missing something 'else' that they could be used for...such as making them good palatable feed for poultry somehow? :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
NickieL said:
that's the first answer I figured most would give. lol
I compost them the leaves and stalks, but not the roots.
any other ideas?
 

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moonwolf said:
For those of you who grow a fair amount of brassica, or cole crops like brocolli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, kohl rabi, etc.

When you harvest and have all those big leaves around for disposal, do you compost them, feed to your livestock, or what?
I like to chop them up and give to my chickens and poultry, but they really don't like to eat a whole lot of it. Sometimes there's just a pile of those large leaves when harvesting, and I guess the only thing I think to do is put them in the compost heap. Am I missing something 'else' that they could be used for...such as making them good palatable feed for poultry somehow? :shrug:
We chopped them up and fed them to the pigs, they loved them!
 

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Somewhere I read you could make kraut from them; I don't know. You can add some to stirfry or soup to "add some bulk".
 

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Hi Moonwolf, hope you are doing well. After I have harvest the broccoli and cabbage, etc I just pull up the entire plant and throw it over the fence to the hogs/pigs. They eat what they want of the plant/stem/leaves and will trample the roots in the ground. Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
katydidonce said:
Somewhere I read you could make kraut from them; I don't know. You can add some to stirfry or soup to "add some bulk".
brocolli leaves? ick....well, who knows. I've never tried it. I would use the good cabbage to make anyghing....like say, cabbage rolls. brussel sprout leaves for 'kraut'...okay. I won't try it, but anyone that has, let us know. I hate sauerkraut to begin with, so you can't go by me. lol.

fluidp,
dang. The hog issue always comes up. I think they'll eat anything and convert it to good meat. Never grew a hog. Maybe one of these days, I'll consider it. These chickens make pigs of themselves, as it is. I try chopping the leaves for the turkeys. They eat it....reluctantly. I'm also not sure what it's doing for them as far as meat conversion. Pigs is still the answer, I believe.....or compost. lol
 

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We've steamed them and eaten them in stir fries and mixed dishes or just as greens. I suppose you could dehydrate or freeze them to toss in winter soups, but I haven't done that with brassica greens yet. I've been meaning to try kraut with them, but I never seem to get to it. Just picked a bunch of leaves off the brussel sprouts the other day, but they've been sitting on the kitchen counter since then and now are just chicken food/compost.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Phantomfyre said:
Just picked a bunch of leaves off the brussel sprouts the other day, but they've been sitting on the kitchen counter since then and now are just chicken food/compost.
Please, if you remember, and pick some more, to post how the brussel sprout leaves were, and how you prepared them.
 

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Sure thing, Moonwolf. It may be a bit - I stripped them pretty high the other day, so I'll have to wait for them to grow up again.

I'm not a kraut person either, but I had some fresh refrigerated (not canned) kraut last year that we bought at a farm stand, and I really liked it - it was very mild. So I'm going to try my own at some point this summer, and figured I'd try a batch with various brassica leaves. If/when I get to that, I'll let you know how that went, too.
 

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Brussel sprouts - the old, lower leaves that get yellow becomes compost or mulch. Often they have lots of holes from bugs. A good thing with brussel sprouts - they survive the fall frosts and the bugs, so new top leaves in hte fall become nice. After we have harvested the sprouts we eat the top of the plant - it tastes delicious, just like the sprouts. The hard stalks are compost.

Kale - of course all the green leaves can be eaten after some cooking - but yellow leaves and the hard stalks are compost.

Other cole crops I do not bother with - bug problem.

karsan
 

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NB I don't grow much- only I in the family eat it. THis past year I grew kohlrabi. The leaves were great to munch on in the garden, would probably be as tasty as the kohlrabi steamed or krauted, and a visiting 4 year old ate them from the garden as enthusiastically as I expect a pig would.
 

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MoonWolf, it is clear to me: you need rabbits!

I uproot the entire broccoli plant and put it in the rabbit pen. They eat all but the center stalk, and they skin that.

You're gonna LOVE rabbit meat :)
 

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I have a great use for old brassica leaves.... they kill Verticillium Wilt !!!! If you have had Wilt in a bed, bury old brassica leavs and overwinter. As they break down some chemical released kills spores. Just do not plant strawberries on that bed next season.
 

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I sell my broccoli leaves just like other leaf plants. I have a few couples who buy them and I price them about the same as other leaf crops. They know what they are and cant get enough of them.
They asked me what I did with mine and I said compost them. They told me they would buy them from me instead if I would sell them. So thats what I do now. LOL :)
 
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