The Quest for the World’s Largest Cabbage: From Seed to Record

Welcome to the intriguing world of giant vegetables, where size is the ultimate measure of success. In this exploration, we focus on the king of the garden, the cabbage, but not just any cabbage – the world’s largest cabbage. 

We will delve into the history, science, and art of growing these colossal cabbages and share the stories of the dedicated individuals who cultivate them, including Brian Shunskis, a farmer from Salcha, Alaska, who is on a quest to grow a world-record cabbage.

Meet the World’s Largest Cabbage Record Breakers

Scott Robb, an Alaskan with a long history in cabbage growing, currently holds the world record for the largest cabbage. His record-breaking world’s largest cabbage, grown in 2012, weighed an astonishing 138.25 pounds, beating the previous record by over 11 pounds. Here’s a video of the event:

The competition was fierce, with veteran grower Steve Hubacek’s cabbage missing his previous record by just one pound. However, there’s a new contender on the horizon. 

Brian Shunskis, the owner of Salmon Run Farm in Salcha, Alaska, is known for consistently taking top or second place at the Alaska State Fair for the most giant cabbage. 

He has a cabbage on his farm that is nearly seven feet across and is estimated to weigh over 100 pounds, growing at a rate of two to four pounds per day. 

Brian is on a mission to beat the current world record for the largest cabbage!

The Science & Geography Behind Giant Cabbages

The growth of cabbage is a complex process influenced by various factors. 

Genetics play a significant role, with certain varieties predisposed to grow larger than others. However, environmental factors such as soil quality, sunlight, and care also significantly impact. 

Scott Robb attributes the growth of his giant cabbage to Alaska’s unique geographical conditions. The long summer days in Alaska don’t get dark, just a kind of twilight, so the cabbages never shut down and continue to grow. 

Brian Shunskis shares a similar sentiment, stating that the more sun there is, the faster the cabbages grow.

The Art of Cultivating Giant Cabbages

Growing the world’s largest cabbage requires patience, knowledge, and the right tools. Brian Shunskis, for example, has been saving and cross-breeding his own seeds for years. 

After the crop is harvested and the plant lies dormant for five months, seed shoots sprout, which he crosses to try to create the best seed. 

His organic farm uses only natural fertilizer from salmon, which definitely seems to do the trick! 

Scott Robb emphasizes that growing a world-record cabbage requires daily care and attention. You can’t go fishing for the weekend or hunting for a week. You have to be hands-on every day, looking at them, watering them, and ensuring nothing terrible happens.

Note: We also recommend using cabbage companion plants to cut down on pests.

The Impact and Fate of Giant Cabbages

Giant cabbages have more than just novelty value. They have economic potential, with some growers selling their giant crops for a premium.

In Alaska, locals tend to look for the “Alaskan Grown” label, as importing products can be so expensive. 

The state’s only major agricultural export is flowers, but the huge cabbages are a source of local pride. After the Alaska State Fair, the large cabbages often end up at a wildlife refuge. 

While the taste of these giant cabbages is just as good as their smaller counterparts, their size can be overwhelming for food banks to handle. However, Robb assures that all you need to do is start peeling off the outer leaves, and they’re fine.

Human Ingenuity & The Future

The world of giant cabbages is a testament to human ingenuity and the wonders of nature. Whether you’re an aspiring grower or simply fascinated by these colossal crops, there’s no denying the allure of the world’s largest cabbage. 

Who knows how big these cabbages will grow as we look to the future? With dedicated growers like Brian Shunskis, who has even heard his cabbages grow, the record is there to be broken.

Further Reading

For those interested in delving deeper into the world of the largest cabbages, we recommend the following resource: “Giant Vegetables” by Bernard Lavery.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.