Most of the Sto Plains is sown to cabbage, the main source of food on the Plains. To the stolid hard-working farming community, this is a source of pride.
During the events of Going Postal, Moist von Lipwig and Stanley Howler were not slow to capitalise on this by bringing out a range of commemorative stamps, one of which, the Cabbage Green, is entirely made from cabbage-derived material and prone to spontaneous combustion.
Brassic Parks in Ankh-Morpork, an area since redeveloped for housing, was formerly the site of extensive cabbage growing.
The Sto Plains Growers Association, the relevant trade guild, is based in Big Cabbage and is represented locally by Mr Cartwright, resident at Mrs Eucrasia Arcanum's boarding house for gentlemen of quality.
Cabbages are believed to have originated in the Agatean Empire, where it was considered a compliment to the host to break wind loudly after a meal. From there, cabbages were brought across the Hub and found their way down to the Sto Plains. In the "Burpy", a small, dark cabbage, can probably be seen the Agatean original.
The Agatean connection was renewed by the B'Hang family, who moved to the paradise presented by the Sto Plains and who sought to establish an Agatean-style production plant for Grimchi, a native delicacy loved, or at least avoided, at home. However, Grimchi could be viewed as a cabbage-based example of parallel evolution. The thing it independently evolved alongside might be Wow-Wow Sauce. As with Wow-Wow, keeping a critical mass of the stuff in one place - or seven different places - is something you do only once, and very briefly. The seven massive craters that give Seven Bangs its name and a residual population of 27 are mute testament to this.
The splendour of a crop is often the judge of a farm and family's diligence, and the endless nature of this is noted in a famous song:
- Cabbages in my garden grow,
- Cabbages in the fields do show,
- I must get out there with my hoe,
- Diligently tilling, row on row,
- But rather to the pub will go.
There are over 300 different varieties of cabbage, some of which are listed below. A significant number of cabbages on this list were developed by Mr Antipater Slack of Great Slack, a man who was to cabbage-breeding what Bergholt Stuttley Johnson was to architecture and design. You have been warned.
- Autumn Reliant
- Big Hearted Arthur
- The Bockingfield
- Blue Bolter
- Burley Bolter (will leap out of the ground and headbutt you.)
- Choi Champion
- Helit Prize
- Jolly Giant
- The Kendle Green (actually red. Oh, how cabbage farmers laugh!)
- King's Snivel
- Micklegreens Juicy
- Morning Glory (tastes slightly of mice.)
- Offle King
- Old Anchor
- Porraceous Sprouter
- Red Whammy
- Rumptuous Javelin
- Savoloy Special
- Scentless Mute
- Schweinfart Emperor
- Slack Snapper
- Spring Pouncer
- Sto Leafy
- Sto Red (actually green. The long winter evenings simply fly by down on the Sto Plains.)
- Sto Stalker (follows you home and waits outside the privy when you've had cabbage beer.)
- Sto Stout
- Sto Whopper
- Titanic Iceberg (most of the cabbage forms underground.)
The varieties Old Anchor and Red Whammy were originally cultivated for use in cabbage duels, the first recorded one taking place in the Year of the Pensive Frog. This event, once popular with the gentry of the Plains, has now all but died out. Of special mention is the False Cabbage, which is a poisonous plant that mimics cabbages in order to tempt in prey. The poison can be neutralised if accompanied by beer. Also note the Cabbage Frog, which grows 'leaves' and stays very still until butterflies lay their eggs on it, whereupon it eats them.
Alongside the digestive effects of cabbage, "Burpy" is possibly a reference to Burpee, an American-based company that sells vegetable and flower seeds to home gardeners. They offer many different cultivars, including a dozen varieties of cabbage.