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What about kale?

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What about kale? Empty What about kale?

Post  gardenwriter on 4/2/2011, 6:18 pm

I see Kale is one of the new super foods and I'm dying to try it in my square foot garden. As anyone tried it? Any tips for how many seeds to plant in a square foot and if I can plant them now even though it will be below freezing several nights this week.

Thanks,

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Post  camprn on 4/2/2011, 8:36 pm

I grew kale all season last year. I was harvesting it right up until about December 15. I love it!! I had one plant per square but you may be able to get away with 2 per, if you harvest the leaves while they are still on the smaller side (6-8"). they are very cold tolerant and will survive freezes. You can direct seed or start you plants indoors early and set the transplants out a month before last frost.
Here are my kale 10/19/2010
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Post  walshevak on 4/2/2011, 9:41 pm

I have kale transplants in my garden and they didn't even look like the frost we had Sun and Mon even touched them. I expect they will bolt here in the southern heat, but they are in my plan for my fall garden replants.


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Post  camprn on 4/2/2011, 9:51 pm

It got incredibly hot here last year and my kale didn't bolt. I kept watering it and it grew like crazy I harvested from those plants all season and I am still eating kale out of the freezer. Very Happy
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/2/2011, 10:16 pm

It wasn't until this forum, and the book, that I even knew kale was used for more than garnish. I have learned, though, that it's one tough cool season crop....one of the last to succumb to freezes.

Good luck, and share your success with it. Recipies, etc, would be great! If I see something I like, I may even grow some myself someday.
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Post  walshevak on 4/2/2011, 10:27 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:It wasn't until this forum, and the book, that I even knew kale was used for more than garnish. I have learned, though, that it's one tough cool season crop....one of the last to succumb to freezes.

Good luck, and share your success with it. Recipies, etc, would be great! If I see something I like, I may even grow some myself someday.

I remember the first time I saw Kale being used as a lining for a salad bar. I though, what a waste of good eating Kale. Packages of frozen Kale were a staple in my kitchen when the kids were little. Cost 15-20 cents a pac (in the mid to late '60s)
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/2/2011, 10:47 pm

We particularly love Tuscan Kale (Brassica oleracea), also knows as lacinato kale, palm tree kale, or--the kids' favorite name: dinosaur kale. In addition to the sets I will put out in two weeks here, my son and daughter-in-law who live on the Washington coast, will be putting a couple of dinosaur kale in their garden. It will be interesting to see how the plants do a few hundred feet from the ocean. Tuscan kale is particulalrly wonderful to add to soups (think: Italian wedding soup), used in NPR's Splendid Table's chef, Lynn Rosetto Kaspar's Melting Kale--yummy side dish, blended in with banana, pear and orange for a green breakfast smoothie. Besides, it's such a beautiful plant, it can be used in an edible landscape. Go for it....you won't be disappointed.
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Post  boog1 on 4/2/2011, 11:59 pm

didnt even know what kale was What about kale? 601593 till other half wanted to grow some this year its under the grow light a half inch tall as i type this, she'll expect me to eat some i jus know it No No


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Post  gardenwriter on 4/3/2011, 8:38 am

Thanks for all your replies. It sounds like most of you who have planted kale started inside or with transplants. I put seeds in yesterday. I'll let you know how things develop (ha!).

Here is a quick kale recipe:

Kale Chips

Wash kale, remove tough stem, and tear into pieces
Toss with olive oil
Salt lightly
Bake at 300 for 20 minutes
Serve right away

Delicious! They melt in your mouth.

I also put about a cup of torn kale leaves in my morning fruit and yogurt smoothie, and I feel I get an extra healthy boost without compromising the sweet, fruity taste I like.

Enjoy!

Gardenwriter
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Post  bullfrogbabe on 4/3/2011, 4:51 pm

Kale are in the cabbage family....can they be used like cabbage?

I have never tried eating them, but folks around here grow the coloured ones as fall ornamentals in their flower gardens since they are tough enough to handle frost.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/3/2011, 7:59 pm

Here's a take on Tuscan kale as a favorite with upscale chefs: "by any name, it's remarkably flavorful- meatier than Swiss chard, sweeter than collards and more mellow than peppery mustard greens.
"It's a meat eater's kind of green," says Steven Levine, chef of Cosmopolitan Cafe in San Francisco. "I can't wait for it to come out every year. Spinach and Swiss chard are a little grassy to me, but this is hearty."
With pan-roasted chicken, Levine prepares Tuscan kale in the Catalan style: with anchovies, garlic, pine nuts and golden raisins. Last winter, he braised it with garlic and sausage and served it with creamy polenta with crumbled feta.
Braised Tuscan kale finished in the brick oven is "probably one of our top two small plates," says Kevin Best, owner of B Restaurant in Oakland. The kale is blanched first, then braised with olive oil, shallots, carrots and vegetable stock. "At this time of year, the kale has a hearty, rich flavor, so we try to stay out of the way," says Best."

Me, I'm going to find that Catalan style recipe for my Tuscan kale, sounds exotic and delicious.
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Post  cabinfever on 4/11/2011, 5:35 pm

How do you all cook kale? I know I loved it as a teenager, and I think my folks steamed it.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/11/2011, 6:02 pm

You can access two of my favorite kale recipes from The Spendid Table, hosted by Lynne Rosetto Kaspar:


Stir-fried kale in the Italian way:

http://www.publicradio.org/columns/splendid-table/recipes/shredded_kale.html



Melting Greens (which I especially like with Tuscan Kale):

http://www.publicradio.org/columns/splendid-table/recipes/sides_meltinggreens.html



Also, look up a traditional Tuscan vegetable soup, many use the Tuscan Kale, which gives even a vegetarian soup a real "meaty" taste. Note, Tuscan kale usually needs a bit more cooking to reach the "melt-in-your-mouth" optimum than does other kales. Enjoy!
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Post  Weatherkid on 4/11/2011, 7:29 pm

I grew kale last spring and was harvesting into the fall.... it's so easy to grow.... almost impossible to kill.Smile I have 4 squares of it right now.
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Post  Smartchick on 4/12/2011, 12:39 pm

I'd love to grow some kale - even tried the past 2 years. However, the bane of my existence - cabbage worms - always got to it before I could. I'm going to try again this fall and see if I can keep it from getting eaten.
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Post  dizzygardener on 4/12/2011, 12:46 pm

@Smartchick wrote:I'd love to grow some kale - even tried the past 2 years. However, the bane of my existence - cabbage worms - always got to it before I could. I'm going to try again this fall and see if I can keep it from getting eaten.

Go down to your local garden center and get some BT (Bacillus thuringiensis). It might be easier for you to find Dipel Dust which is also a BT product.

Use as directed and your cabbage worm problems will be history!
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Post  camprn on 4/12/2011, 1:02 pm

You may have some luck with a barrier or a cover. Tulle fabric is going on sale at Joann Fabrics next week for $0.75/yd. or at least that's what the lady at my local store told me. I am going to try that this year. Last year I was in the garden 2x a day hunting cabbage worms and squishing them. Hand picking was quite effective. Twisted Evil
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Post  Smartchick on 4/12/2011, 2:24 pm

Well, this year I am trying the barrier method. I tried BT the past two years along with hand picking but I had such a terrible infestation both years that I would have had to be out there 2-3 times a day to keep it under control. Last year I went from having 3 worms in the morning to like 30+ in the afternoon. I've never enjoyed squishing things so much! After two weeks of twice a day (at least) inspections and spraying with BT like every other day (super rainy spring) I decided they could have them and I pulled them up! This year I have my cabbage, broccoli and cauli planted in a 1 x 10 row (I know - it will be a box this fall Smile ) and I made a custom row cover frame out of PVC pipe (which incidently can also be turned into a 4 x 4 cover if I need it) and got some row cover fabric from Gardners Supply. I shall win the battle!
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Post  dizzygardener on 4/12/2011, 4:09 pm

Go get 'em! get that pesky wabbi
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Post  herblover on 4/16/2011, 10:20 am

Love kale! A friend of mine who is more knowledgeable about varieties is going to help me with that this year. It is one of our favorite veggies and will grow all season long.
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Post  randomsideizzie on 4/19/2011, 4:35 pm

@gardenwriter wrote:Thanks for all your replies. It sounds like most of you who have planted kale started inside or with transplants. I put seeds in yesterday. I'll let you know how things develop (ha!).

Here is a quick kale recipe:

Kale Chips

Wash kale, remove tough stem, and tear into pieces
Toss with olive oil
Salt lightly
Bake at 300 for 20 minutes
Serve right away

Delicious! They melt in your mouth.

I also put about a cup of torn kale leaves in my morning fruit and yogurt smoothie, and I feel I get an extra healthy boost without compromising the sweet, fruity taste I like.

Enjoy!

Gardenwriter

We eat kale chips once every couple weeks. We use this recipe (though prefer lime juice). My "I won't touch a leafy green if it kills me" 3 yr old will eat a couple batches of this stuff easy.
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