Cabbage is the oldest member of the brassica family, and is grown all over the world. It is a cool season crop, and in Illinois, it is grown in spring and fall.
Cabbage is an excellent storage crop, and will last 2-3 weeks or more in the refrigerator. If the outer leaves seem a bit wilty, simply peel them off and discard. Savoy cabbage has a slightly shorter window of use, lasting about 1 week in the fridge.
There are several types of cabbage (red, green, conical, savoy) and many of them can be prepared similarly. Peel off damaged leaves and wash in cold water before using. Be sure to remove the hard, white stem at the center of the cabbage. Cabbage can be prepared raw when sliced thinly, and makes an excellent addition to salads. It can also be boiled, steamed, sauteed, pickled, and stuffed. Additionally, cabbage can be fermented into sauerkraut.