Swamp Cabbage Festival 2011

The Sable Palm is the Florida State tree … and we eat it.  Most people know it as  ‘hearts of palm’.  We call it ‘swamp cabbage’. 

Most Floridians refer to the tree as a cabbage palm.   The cabbage palm is native to Florida and survives almost anything mother nature serves its way.  even hurricanes.  If you live in Florida, you should check out Pamela Crawford’s book,  Stormscaping: Landscaping to Minimize Wind Damage in Florida.  She says the cabbage palm is one of the few trees with a well-deserved very high wind tolerance. 

The young palm tree is harvested and the bark is removed.  The center core and the base are the parts that are eaten.  They can be eaten raw or cooked.  It’s sweet, fibrous and tends to have a laxative effect.

A pile of swamp cabbage before it's center is cut out.

Hooray beer! Hooray swamp cabbage!

Swamp cabbage... hearts of palm. I guess it depends where you live.

The small town of LaBelle, Florida holds a  Swamp Cabbage Festival on the last weekend of February every year.  Click on Scrumpdillyicious to see some great photos and get more information.  It’s a big, weekend party for the town. 

A float in the 2011 Swamp Cabbage parade.

The Hillbilly Experience float in the 2011 Swamp Cabbage Parade.

... No, I'm pretty sure the other white meat is gator.

Joneses BBQ is the best ever.

... and Perkins has the best gator tail.

Pirate Pickles has delicious pickled swamp cabbage. He's holding the edible part of the cabbage palm.

That's a big pile of cut up cabbage palms under a cabbage palm frond.

They have some very exciting armadillo races. They really are fun and kids go bonkers over it.

Armadillos getting ready to race.

Ballet in the park.

The weekend holds constant entertainment, from ballet to bluegrass.  The Seminole indians have their booths with traditional fry bread, crafts and information.  There are endless vendors selling food.  It’s fun to try the different family recipes of swamp cabbage.  The town has held this festival for over forty years and attracts over 30,000 people a year from all over South Florida.

Come grow with us!

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3 Responses to “Swamp Cabbage Festival 2011”

  1. […] Swamp Cabbage Festival 2011 « Pick Me Yard […]

  2. I’m going to really miss it this year, am out of state. I live in Labelle, love that place!

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