So this is interesting. A couple of months ago, I gave up on some cabbage in my middle, shaded vegetable bed. Rather than pulling the plants out by the roots, I decided to cut them off near the surface. This was inspired by a post about permaculture on a blog I enjoy, although, unfortunately, I don't remember which blog it was.
The gist was that, if you leave the roots in the ground, you will preserve the beneficial organisms living in the soil around those roots. So, I decided to try it. I chopped off most of the cabbage stem, and then planted some pepper seedlings nearby.
I was expecting the cabbage stem and roots to rot away, adding their nutrients back into the soil. Instead, several baby cabbages decided to grow off the abandoned stalk. What's interesting is that they appear to be individual purple cabbage plants, rather than new leaves growing on the existing stalk. The cabbages look really healthy and cute right now, so I'm thinking about letting them grow. I figure that, once they get bigger, I'll just pick the strongest-looking cabbage and cut off the others.
The original cabbage grew from seed, and I didn't even realize that cabbage could reproduce like that. Has anyone grown cabbage (or broccoli or other brassicas) this way before?