Eternal mush, classic vegetable garden vegetable with a future

Eternal mush gets its name from the fact that it keeps coming up; it is a solid type of cabbage. Moreover, it is virtually the only solid type of cabbage; all other species are annual or biennial. Eternal mush used to be eaten regularly in the Netherlands, but now it is one of the forgotten vegetables. Eternal mush is traditionally a spring vegetable. It will never become a full cabbage but will always consist of loose cabbage leaves. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.


  • Naming eternal mush
  • A cabbage with history and future
  • Eternal vegetable garden
  • Eternal mush eating tips
  • Network eternal mush


Naming eternal mush

The Latin name of everlasting mush is Brassica Oleracea var. Acephala . Brassica Oleracea is the name of many types of cabbage. Acephala means unbound, which refers to the cabbage leaves that grow separately from each other. Eternal mash has a few nicknames in Dutch: split cabbage, split cabbage, cutting cabbage, old wives’ cabbage, thousand head and poor man’s vegetable.

A cabbage with history and future

Eternal mush was most likely already eaten by the ancient Romans. It is one of the oldest types of cabbage on earth. Eternal mash is, like other types of cabbage, very healthy. It helps build bone because it contains all kinds of minerals and vitamins and it is a good vegetable for a strong immune system. The many names that eternal mush has are indications that the plant has long been part of Dutch culture. It now falls under the heading of ‘forgotten vegetables’, but the eternal vegetable is making a comeback. You see it more and more often in the vegetable garden, and why not? It is an easy plant, very healthy and you can harvest it all year round. Everlasting cabbage is an ideal vegetable garden plant.

Eternal vegetable garden

Eternal mush is a vegetable that grows all year round. It prefers to be in partial shade because the leaves can burn in full sun. Yet this plant also does well in the sun for many people. Even in winter the leaves can be picked for consumption. Eternal mush is a perennial; it can easily continue to grow for 40 years. This type of cabbage will not flower quickly. When it blooms it becomes a lot smaller. You can propagate forever by cutting or tearing it. You then pull a clump of roots apart into two pieces. You do need to trim this plant or harvest loose leaves regularly. Otherwise the stems will droop to the ground. Eternal mush grows even better if it is fertilized.

Eternal mush eating tips

Eternal mash can be cooked just like other types of cabbage. The leaves can also be eaten raw. Because you all have loose leaves, you can fill a leaf with a mixture of, for example, rice, nuts, cheese and herbs. This is how you make different vegetable packages. You can also stir-fry eternal mush and it fits perfectly in a vegetable mix. You can eat both the leaves and the stems. Eternal puree is also a tasty addition to a stew of different vegetables or quiche.

People who keep hamsters, rabbits or turtles would do well to also have perpetual mush in the garden. Animals love it.


Network eternal mush

The eternal mush network is part of the De Oerakker foundation. This foundation aims to preserve the vegetables that were originally widely eaten in the Netherlands but have been displaced by the supply of supermarkets. The aim is to preserve biodiversity, preserve the cultural-historical value of ‘forgotten vegetables’ and to utilize the culinary qualities of ancient vegetables. In 2008 a film was released entitled ‘Eternal Mush’. The film shows people who work for the foundation and includes a number of close-ups of forgotten vegetables. The main theme of this documentary is ‘biodiversity’.

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