About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Island cabbage

I've recently been drafting a science worksheet to do with classification. Having a background in horticulture my mind always thinks of plant examples for these types of things. So what did I think of? Different types of cabbage.

   My husband calls silverbeet 'cabbage'. I've just been out to the garden to harvest some silverbeet for dinner. Whilst there I weeded some 'love-lies-bleeding'. It grows like a weed in our yard. We also eat the leaves occassionally and my husband also calls it cabbage. These 'pseudo cabbages' are very different to the cabbage he yearns for: which is 'slippery cabbage'. Unfortunately it doesn't grow in the cold down here at the bottom of Australia.
   Its botanical name is Abelmoschus manihot and it sure is slippery. When you cut the leaves a clear slime oozes out. Some people find the texture revolting but you get used to it, especially if there is no other green veg about. The amazing thing about it is that it has so many names throughout the Pacific: bele, pele, aibika, island cabbage, hibiscus cabbage and slippery cabbage. No wonder it's a good candidate for a classification exercise.

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