all hail curly kale

All Hail Curly Kale!

curly kaleThis morning I made an impromptu pre-work trip to the plot for some curly kale to have with dinner. Being one of the few veg coming off the plot at the moment, it’s taken a right bashing during January.

I’ve picked more than 600g over five harvests, which roughly equated to 42 of the tasty green leaves, from only four brilliant plants. For me, that’s one selfless, generous and productive vegetable.

Money Saver
I’ve used it in Pink of Perfection’s butternut squash and sausage casserole, chickpea and coconut curry, stir fry and as accompanying greens. It’s a wonderful thing, and at £5.95 a kilo in the shops, a good one to grow if saving money’s an objective. In fact, I saved a tidy £3.64 on kale alone during January.

Healthy
What’s more, kale is very good for me. It is stuffed full of carotenoids, which are thought to be powerful anti-cancer agents, as well as Vitamins A and C and iron.

Reliable
However, the thing I love about kale the most is not its superfood qualities, its lovely bright green leaves or the sweet cabbagey taste. No, I love kale simply because it is there when I need it. It’s tremendously hardy, defying anything winter can conjure up. ‘Eat me Jono, I’m here, you can rely on me,’ the tall green plant says when everything around is falling away.

There’s even a variety called Hungry Gap, celebrating this lonely and resilient existence.

Easy to Grow
Kale is dead easy to grow as well. It doesn’t mind poor soil, will tolerates shade, and seeds germinate at 5oC. The plant happily shrugs off the cold, and the leaves even sweeten after a frost.

I grow Dwarf Green Curled, although I’m tempted by the startlingly purple Scarlet next time around, as well as Hungry Gap for the sheer romance of it.

I could not be without kale, and I planted another late row towards the end of last summer, just in case I ate too much. I might not need it, but whatever happens, I’ll still get my greens.

All hail kale.

2 thoughts on “All Hail Curly Kale!”

  1. I love kale too!! It’s very popular in Germany (where I’m from) and there are special deals in pubs/restaurants etc offering kale based meals after it had its first frost.

    I tried growing some myself but I think I left it too late in the summer last year so they didn’t get to grow much and then I didn’t net them so the wood pigeons had a right feast on them and when I came to check on them after a weekend, they had been completely stripped!!

    Must try harder this year…

    1. Hi Sunny.

      Wow, I’d love to go to a pub or restaurant were they did special kale based meals!

      Its normally white fly that causes me problems, rather than the pigeons. I planted African Marigolds around the kale last year, and that seemed to keep it away.

      Good luck this year!

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