Organic Kale: Westland winter. Brassica oleracea var. sabellica.
This variety of kale has large mid-green coloured, curly leaves growing from a central stem. Very hardy and high yielding with a long cropping period of 6 months until March.
How to grow:
Sow seeds in modules from February on, or outside in a seed bed from late April on. Plant out from either modules or bed when about 12″ tall, as long as hard frosts have passed. You can plant them deep, almost to the first leaves and water in well. Likes well fertilised soil. You can start harvesting individual leaves as they get big enough.
Keep slugs off when young. Cabbage whites can be a problem as the season progresses. You can cover with enviromesh net which lets in light and water, and if you feel the need leave a couple of plants out for the white butterflies as they’re becoming increasingly rare. Just 40 years ago we would have seen clouds of white butterflies.
Favourite ways to eat them:
Kale is such a great all rounder. A main ingredient of smoothies, fabulous stir fried with green beans, or sauteed on its own with onion and stock, added to stews and soups, or make kale crisps in the oven – baked with olive oil and salt, divine. Leaves are always more tender after the first frost.
Originating form the Mediterranean to Asia minor, kale is considered to be closely related to its wild relative, being loosely leafy rather than formig a cabbage “head”. Cultivated since at least 2000BC its popularity for both curly and flat leaved varieties remains to this day.
Average seed weight: 433 seeds = 1g.