Last Updated:  7  March 2001

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cabbage TWTD cabbage

"Mother's Cabbage Patch"



in Montana in the mid 1920s - 1930s

written by Lillian Hein Remmick

Copyrighted March 2000

 All rights are reserved. This story, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Published by Remick-Hubert Corp.221 Main Streeet, Suite 1300, San Francisco, California, 94105


Mother use to tell this story which went  something like this:
The people in the village of Borodino [Bessarabia, S. Russia] didn't raise their own vegetables but purchased them from the Bulgar[ian] people.

So very early one bright summer morning Mother and her very best friend [Hertel] decided to go and visit these Bulgar[ian] people and their farms [which were similar to our modern day truck farms].

Here we have two six year olds going on a ten mile trek [in 1891].  They walked and walked and hitched rides whenever possible with farmers on their way to the market.  With great determination, they reached their destination.

They spent a great day sharing the Bulgar[ian] people's wonderful hospitality. The gardens were beautiful and the rows and rows of cabbages were a wonder for them to see.

When evening came the Bulgar[ian] people made sure that the girls were safely returned to their village where the whole village was out looking for them.  Their parents were so glad to see them alive and well that no punishment was given.

Mother's  love of growing vegetables, especially cabbages, stayed a part of her pleasure in her gardening for her entire life.

Every spring Dad would plow a corner piece of land at the end of her regular garden, level it, and ridge row it for Mom

The cabbage plants would be placed in ramrod straight rows at perfect intervals.


Each evening, until the plants were well established,  my brother Edie and I march up and down the rows with our pails of water and tin cups and carefully  we'd water each plant with exactly one cup of water. We couldn't carry large buckets so our trips to the water pump were many.

girl with bucket

We were most happy when the cabbages were ready to be water by ditch flow.

Sometimes in the summer we had to help Mom spray the cabbage plants with a green substance added to the water called "Paris Green". Of course we were the water  carriers.

Wondering if there really was such a thing as "Paris Green", I looked it up and sure enough there is. The dictionary described it as a very toxic insecticide which is a very poisonous green power which was sparingly mixed with large amounts of water by gardners in the 1930's.

By fall the cabbage heads were immense and Mom would enter some at the country fair.  I remember one year she entered three heads that weighed twenty-seven pounds each.  Of course she won first prize , as she did every year.

This particular time, which was a Great Depression year, she accured six hundred dollars from her cabbage sales which was terrific as well as a twenty gallon crock of sourkraut in the cellar.

The sourkraut gave us much pleasure through the winter months.  Mother cooked it with smoked goose shanks along with potatoes and dumplings.

We give thanks to a great lady who's hard work made her a great provider.


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