Monday, October 18, 2010
Harvest Monday - Kale, kale and some chard
Kale with red oak leaves: Red Ursa is a beautiful, dependable, tender and tasty kale, originally from Wild Garden Seeds. I also quite like Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch - a frilly green variety. I don't typically grow taller types like palm/lacinato (B. oleracea) as I imagine they'd be more prone to die back above the snowline though I have not tried them so this is only a guess.
The kale that grows itself in my garden is Red Ursa - Brassica napus. I started these some years back and the winter survivors became the seed parents to a plentiful crop ever after. As vegetables go, and brassicas in particular, it is a easy, versatile plant. Hardy, they provide a three season harvest, even four during the milder winter months. Besides their leaves, you can eat the flowerheads like broccolini, the immature seedpods like rattail radish and the seeds as mustard or sprouted as microgreens.
Like the rest of the vegetable brassica tribe, they are also darn good for you. Doesn't the word kale just reek of nutrition? Doesn't the five year old in year wish for cookies instead?
Actually, I ♥ kale.
Perennial kale variety Daubenton growing near its so-called biennial cousin. This is a huge plant taking up a 3x4x3 foot space approximately in its second year but really can you have too much kale? It's much more strongly flavoured than the other kales I grow in the garden.
Also, it is beautiful in the garden. In the spring, transplant or seed a purple or blue toned variety near your asters or chrysanthemums. When the temperatures dip, they will take on vibrant cool tones that act as a fabulous foil for late season flowers. Their coarse textured leaves contrast nicely with grasses too.
Whattabout the chard? Oh yes, also harvesting greens like docks, chard, onions & roots like Jeruselum Artichokes, crosnes and salsify & various herbs
Didn't get your fill of kale? Here's a good article: The Best Kales by Mother Earth News