Kitchen Garden

Sharing the Wealth

Neighborhood Kale and Collard Stand, June 15, 2020.

Yesterday’s kale harvest was big. To share the wealth I displayed some at the end of the driveway and posted the free give-away on Facebook.

Some of it was claimed, the rest returned to the garden via the composter.

Ten years ago I saved or preserved everything I grew in the garden. Any more I keep only enough to get us through to next year. I’ve visited root cellars filled with very old Mason jars of a garden’s preserves. That’s not who we should be. We take what we need and if we can’t give it away, leave the rest for compost.

Leafy green vegetables are not a favorite around here. I have regular customers who use it in smoothies or bake kale chips. Others prepare it traditionally as greens. The main use in our household is in tacos, soups and stir fries. When out of lettuce we make kale salad. Once in a while I add a leaf to a smoothie. I’m not a smoothie person. I tried kale pesto once and it was okay. Pesto with more flavor, like mustard greens, is better. For a gardener the main challenge is to grow just enough to meet needs. I cut back the space for kale to 18 plants this year. It is still too much.

Combine kale with kohlrabi, collards, mustard, spinach and chard and there is an abundance of greens this year. Next year I’ll use the planting space differently to more closely match what I grow with kitchen usage.

For now there is kale for all who want it.

3 replies on “Sharing the Wealth”

I have a dumb kale question, Paul:) I prefer the smaller, flatter kale I found in the store for a while labeled as ‘baby kale’. Is that actually kale picked sooner, before the leaves get curly at the ends, or is it a different type all together? It had a texture more like spinach but had the flavor of kale. I really liked it, cooked or in salads, but now it’s harder to find, lately. I only use the curly variety in soups, since it seems to be a bit tough, otherwise.

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There are a lot of varieties of kale. Sometimes “baby kale” is the same genetics as “regular” just picked early when the leaves are small. There are varieties that don’t get big. I prefer curly kale and use Winterbor and Redbor from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This year I’m also growing Red Russian which has a distinct flavor. If you go on Johnny’s web site they have a more detailed explanation and several varieties of kale you can compare. Hope this helps.

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