All Seasons Cabbage
All Seasons Cabbage
90 days — Also known as 'Vandergaw',[1,2,3] this variety is heat resistant, fine-flavored and produces good, hard heads that are ten inches in diameter, average about twelve pounds in weight, and are round but flattened on the top. As its name implies, it is an all purpose variety useful for early, intermediate and late season harvests.
It was developed by a Long Island market grower named Mr. Vandergaw as a cross between 'Flat Dutch' and an unknown variety of 'Drumhead'. It was largely unknown until James J. H. Gregory, recognizing its particular merits, secured all of Vandergaw's stock and released it as 'All Seasons' in his 1886 seed catalog. In his own words from that 1886 catalog, Mr. Gregory recounts its history as follows:
While conversing, at the Seedsman's Convention, with a prominent seed grower, who ranks very high among the botanists of this country, he casually remarked that the best scientific results were sometimes obtained by ordinary farmers, who know nothing about the laws that govern the production of new species. "For instance," said he, "I know of an old Dutchman down my way, who, by crossing the 'Flat Dutch' on some Drumhead variety of cabbage, has succeeded in originating one of the very best, if not the best early Drumhead cabbage to be found in the United States. He has been twenty years at it, and has produced so good a cabbage that his neighbors, who are market-gardeners, are glad to buy every year all the seed he will spare them at the rate of $14.00 [$360 in 2015 dollars] per pound," My friend further added, that, during the past three or four years, it had been still further improved, so that now 98 per cent will make marketable heads, under conditions where nine out of ten of almost every other variety would fail.The following year, W. Atlee Burpee procured seed from Mr. Vandergaw and as the story goes, without knowing that it was one in the same as Gregory's 'All Seasons', Burpee grew a stock of seed and released it as "The Vandergaw" cabbage.[1,2,4] Each packet contains 0.5 gram, which is approximately 75 seeds.
Being a cabbage man myself, I was greatly interested in his statement, and begged a few seeds of this new cabbage for trial in my experimental grounds. The results fully substantiated all the claims my friend had made, for among thirty-five varieties tested, "All Seasons" proved to be decidedly larger than any other kind that were equally early; the heads were very hard and very symmetrical, making a cabbage in form much like the Stone-Mason. I was so impressed with its good qualities that I took a trip to Long Island, N.Y., its home, the more thoroughly to study its history and characteristics. The result was, that, after a careful investigation, I was so well satisfied of its great merits, that I purchased the entire stock of seed, which was but a few pounds, and this I now offer to my customers. I will venture the opinion that within three or four years "All Seasons" will be a standard early cabbage, to be found in all catalogues and all markets in the United States. The engraving was made from a specimen raised on my seed farms.
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