‘Hibernated’ cabbages dug out in Wassamu

The work of digging out ‘hibernated cabbages’ that are buried under snow after being harvested in autumn, is reaching its peak in the town of Wassamu in northern Hokkaido, where the cabbages are a specialty product.

 Every year, the cabbages that are harvested from each farm between late October to early November are laid out in the fields to be stored under the snow that accumulates. As the temperature and humidity are maintained at suitable levels beneath the snow, the sweet and savory flavors are nurtured to create juicy ‘hibernated’ cabbages.

 Cabbage farmer Onoda planted two varieties in 1.8 hectares of fields, and began digging out the crispy, green ‘Fuyukoma’ variety on January 13, using a mechanical digger to clear away the 1.2-m-deep snow. Onoda and his wife manually loaded the cabbages onto a tractor, taking care not to damage the crop. Each cabbage weighs approximately 2 kg and, according to Onoda “we were blessed with good weather, so both the size and taste as good”.

 According to the agricultural cooperative, 3 varieties of cabbage were planted in approximately 60 hectares of land on 59 farms in the town. This winter, approximately 3,500 tons of cabbages are expected to be shipped, which is 600 tons more than the previous year. The digging out of the cabbages will continue until March, and the produce will be shipped to large consumption areas such as Sapporo and Asahikawa, as well as being sold in the town.


Wassamu Town