Shetland Cabbage

  • shetcabfieldWBsm

Place Category: Food Producers and Slow Food Ark of Taste

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    This has been saved thanks to the efforts of the Isbisters who you will read all about on these pages. They grow a small crop on their croft where it is available in season on Shetland. They are also supporting the growing in school gardens on Shetland and arrange school visits to their croft

    Shetland Cabbage/Kale is the oldest known Scottish local vegetable variety and has been grown on the Shetland Islands since at least the 17thC. Used as a vegetable, the outer or dropped leaves are also used as winter fodder for cattle and sheep. In the last 30 years there has been a very steep decline in this landrace crop known locally as Shetland Kale.

    Due to the extreme weather conditions on Shetland, cabbage seeds were traditionally planted in plantie crubs, small circular stone-walled enclosures for protection and the micro climate they created. These structures can still be seen all over the islands, most now in ruins.

    This is a seasonal product and could be grown on allotments

    photo: Wendy Barrie, the kitchen garden at Burland Croft

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