Kale for Days



I just found this post in my draft folder. I was so sure that I had hit publish on it, but I guess not. This was my intro to the Kale I grew last year. I didn’t manage to get any growing photos of it last year (because 2016 was a giant steamy pile of… fresh compost), BUT I plan on trying them all again this year.

I love Kale. I think most of the world does now too. And the good thing, if you are also a Kale lover… Its ridiculously easy to grow. I was originally just going to group the Kale in with the other Brassicas that I am growing this year, but then I decided to dedicate a whole post just to the Kale

Rule of thumb – cover any kind of Brassica (which Kale is) to protect it from becoming a white cabbage butterfly (or moth…whatever it is) nursery. You can try and spray the eggs off with a jet of water from the hose… and then pick any caterpillars off the leaves later on if you want; But I find the easiest way to protect my brassicas is by covering them with a screen material. The one exception to this, is the Curly Kale. It doesn’t seem to attract the little buggers like pretty much any other brassica does. But be ready to cover it if you start to see the pretty little butterfly floating around them.

I’ve grown the Curly kale over-sown in a container just outside the kitchen door for baby leaves for a few years, and I definitely recommend trying that if you have no where else to grow it. So easy! You can let some of the plants grow on into full sized Kale plants too, so you can get the best of both worlds.

I’m growing 5 different varieties this year! My best friend brought me some different varieties back with her from a trip to Ontario. White Russian and the Rainbow Kale are the new additions here. They are from a seed company called “Urban Harvest” and I’m looking forward to trying all the seeds she brought me.

  • White Russian Kale
    • Sowed: April 11 (2x Hex cells)
    • “This beautiful variety has green, wavy leaves with white stems and veining. Thought to be one of the vest tasting kales. Very tender and hardy. Use baby leaves in salad and mature leaves for stir fry or steaming.” Urban Harvest Seeds
    • Days to Maturity: Not mentioned on seed pack
  •  Rainbow Dinosaur Kale
    • Sowed: April 11 (2x Hex Cells)
    • “This European Kale has been developed by Frank Morton. A cross of Lacinato (Dinosaur) & Redbor hybrid kale. He selected this diverse population that includes the leaf qualities that Lacinato is loves for, overlain with hues of red, purple, and blue-green. More vigorous and cold hardy than Lacinato. Not bitter and very tender.” Urban Harvest Seeds 
    • Days to Maturity: 62
  • Dinosaur (Lacinato) Kale
    • Sowed: April 11 (2x Hex Cells)
    • “Handsome heirloom known for its blue-green crinkled leaves, tender texture & sweet flavor. Delicious in salads, for sauteed greens, soups or braised with garlic & olive oil. Kale’s flavor is vest in cool weather; mature plants handle frost well or extended harvesting” Cornucopia Seeds
  • Red Russian Kale
    • Sowed: April 25 (3x peat pellet)
    • “Dark gray-green leaves provide more vitamins and minerals than other greens. Red and purple hues intensify after fall frost providing tender and sweet rich dark green kale when cooked. Tasty steamed, stir fried or in salads.” McKenzie Seeds
    • Days to Maturity: 60
  • Dwarf Green Curled Kale
    • Sowed: April 25 (3x peat pellet)
    • “Decorative green curled leaves. May be boiled as greens or chopped fresh for salads when young. Kale is the oldest form of cabbage, being superior to most vegetables in protein, vitamin and mineral content. Cool weather crop that likes rich well drained, moisture retaining soil. Tastiest after a light frost. Slow to bolt” McKenzie Seeds
    • Days to Maturity: 60-75




So, for this year (2017), I think I will try the exact same Kale situation as I wrote about above. Which is why I left the dates I sowed them (for my own notes). As always, plans could change. At the very least, I will sow the curly, rainbow and the dinosaur Kale. At this point in my garden plan for this year, Kale will be the only Brassica I am going to grow, with the possibility of Broccoli if I can find some room for it.

If you have any Kale or other Brassica tips, share them in the comments below. Do you have a (preferably organic) way of keeping away the white butterflies? I would love to keep the netting out of my garden that doubles as our backyard landscapes, but I also know that I cannot keep up with hand-picking the eggs or little caterpillars off the plants.


Brassica Update

Since it has been over a month since I updated on my brassicas, I figured it is time for a post on them.

The ‘Di Ciroco (??)’ Broccoli is starting to make a head. YAY! 

The munchkin and Green Sprouting Broccoli are doing well too. I just realized I forgot to take their own picture and I am not at home to add one into this post.

The Pixie cabbage is adorable!

‘Dutchman f1’ cabbage and the ‘Earliana’ cabbage are both doing well. The Dutchman is a little behind and doesn’t have a prime spot, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t remember 100% which variety is in the photo, but I believe it is Earliana.

Dinosaur Kale is doing awesome. I can probably start harvesting a few leaves soon. Fresh Kale chips are in my future!
And last but not least… The favourite child of the bunch: Brussels Sprouts (variety – ‘catskills’).

The netting has been doing a fantastic job at keeping the cabbage white butterflies away… Now I just need to figure out the best way to keep the chickweed at bay…

And here is a panorama of the whole brassica netted situation… I’m not a very smooth side-stepper, so there are some bumps in the photo.


Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Kale and some Cabbages PLANTED OUT! 

Just wanted to pop in with a quick post (from my phone, so hopefully autocorrect doesn’t “help” too much with spelling). 

I don’t work until the afternoon today, so I spent nearly 3 hours out in the garden this morning. I planted out and netted (no butterflies on my brassicas this year!) the Brussels sprouts, pixie and Earliana cabbages, dinosaur kale, and some Broccoli. Fingers crossed that they are successful this year. 

When I get a little more time, I will add in some lettuce and other quick growing things between the plants while they are still small.

Since I am a little strapped for time right now, but I really want to get a post up, here is the photo dump.. You can guess what everything is for now and if I get a chance, I’ll come back and label things better. 

Have a great Saturday!


Back… Sort of

imageI am dreadfully sorry about the lack of posts as of late. It is much more difficult than I ever imagined to do the amount of gardening that I wanted to do with only one shoulder. And while working full time at a physically demanding job. So everything has been scaled back… Some things are also now drowning a little after all the rain here. My drainage in my containers could not keep up with the rain. You may have read about all the flooding all over Alberta- we were lucky and really the only problems were in my containers.

I will be making much more of an effort to keep up with this Blog- my shoulder will have to deal.

Kale Chips


Kale Chips

Yesterday I showed you the Apple Chips that I made, So I thought I would keep the “chip” theme going and show you Kale Chips. They are AMAZING. And so easy to make.

You take a bunch of Kale, clean it, tear into pieces that are all about the same size. Then you take the bits of Kale, toss them in some olive oil -don’t drench, but you want them to have a thin even layer of oil on the Kale pieces.

Now, you can add in your seasoning, whether it is sea salt, or steak spice. My favourite is the McCormick Lemon and Herb mix that I try to keep stocked in my spice cabinet since I love it so much.

Now, space the Kale pieces evenly on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet, and bake them at about 250F until they are crispy. Keep checking them. It can take around an hour if you have large pieces. Just don’t let them burn, because they don’t taste good that way. 😉

Now Enjoy!

I can’t say how long these last, or how they taste after they have sat around, because they are gone practically before they are out of the oven!