HOW TO KEEP CABBAGES LONGER: An elderly farmer told me when I was a child an old trick to preserve cabbages for months. I have never grown too many big cabbages to try this trick, but I will pass it on to a new generation in hopes that Mr. Fred, my neighbor, will have his technique live on.
The cabbage should be fairly large and at the end of its growing season. Dig up the ENTIRE plant, taking care NOT to remove the root(s). Remove all yellow and rotten leaves but keep the big, green, good ones on and wrap them tightly around the intact central head. Widen the hole where you removed the cabbage, and invert the cabbage and place it in the hole. (Green leaves should still be wrapped tightly) Cover the entire cabbage, now upside down with several inches of mounded dirt, leaving the root end sticking up into the air! You now have a confused cabbage which will go to sleep but not die for months and one which will require no storage space. The root will absorb as much moisture as it needs and act as a flag to remind you where you buried it. When you think of it, it stands to reason that it will be refrigerated, insulated by the surrounding garden loam and in suspended animation. No need to make sauercraut if you can get "fresh" cabbage in the winter. Mr. Fred and I lived on the north shore of Long Island, so adjust your approach to this technique according to your latitude.
This method is similar to "heeling in" cabbage, where the cabbage is dug up, root included, layed in a trench running East to West and about 8" deep with the root, facing South lying on top of the ground. Cover the root with the soil from the trench, and cover the head with straw. This works best from zone 6 and on south.
That's a very big dog. I think I want to go home now and hug this tiny ad: