Monday, August 1, 2011

The Elusive Road Cabbage – In Search of Some Seriously Succulent Snackage

If you drive through a rural area on your daily commute you are likely to come across the occasional farm truck flotsam and, no matter where you happen to reside, there is most definitely a particular crop that could be found in abundance just off the shoulder if you only knew how to spot these hidden gems. In Northeast Georgia (Rabun County to be exact), the typical find this time of year is the Road Cabbage. While many foraging neophytes obliviously zip right past a veritable feast each summer day, the technique for spotting these elusive orbs is actually quite easy to master. As we all know, cabbages are round, they roll, and sometimes a considerable distance from their initial point of impact on the roadway. Fortunately, this roundness also facilitates their propensity to exit speeding farm trucks on their way to the local market; and most particularly at sharp curves in the road. Thus, this vegetable is always readily available in roadside ditches during harvest season. These green globes of goodness are however very difficult to spot when hidden in tall roadside weeds as you drive past at highway speeds. Even so, if you know exactly what clues to look for, you will have no difficulty filling you larder with more cabbages than you would dare consume. You must keep a keen eye trained on the side of the roadway at each curve and when you spot a wilted outer cabbage leaf on the very edge of the pavement (see bottom photo), you can be sure that you are just a stone's throw (or a cabbage's roll) away from pay dirt. As the cabbage smacks the pavement at 55 MPH, the outer leaves explode from the more compact solid inner core and the center continues to roll in the direction of the truck formally hauling your quarry. Thus, as soon as you spot the outer leaves at the roadside, you can be certain that a succulent cabbage heart can be located approximately 30 yards down-road from your current location. Check out my photo montage of a recent successful hunt here. Happy harvesting…

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