Winter Born

Last year, March 2014, we planted some winterbor kale plants we bought at the nursery. That was our first attempt at growing kale. We did not have any real idea of how the kale would grow and thought we would give it a try. We planted it in March because we had a couple of helpers and I thought, well, if it gets hit hard by frost, we aren’t out much; if it didn’t get damaged by frost, we would be way ahead for summer. I had read that kale is frost tolerant, but, really, it doesn’t seem that hardy when you look at little plants, so I only partly believed what I read.

Within about two months we were busy harvesting kale. A couple of the plants got munched, likely by deer, but they came back fine. As we came into summer, I started thinking that, surely the hot, dry month of June will cause the kale to bolt and become bitter. That never happened. We never stopped weekly harvests of kale until early winter – just a few months ago. The photo above was taken last weekend, the middle of February 2015 – 11 months after we first put the little plants in the ground.

Next month the kale will be one year old. That will also represent the last harvest from those plants. At that time my helpers will be back for a visit and I have new kale plants ready to take the place of the existing kale. Last year we had winterbor kale and it grew great. This year I have dinosaur kale, also known as Lacinato kale. Dinosaur kale is a Tuscan heirloom variety. I am hoping that the new variety grows well and thrives in what should be a similar climate to its homeland. According to everything I read about kale, dinosaur kale is the preferred tasting variety, so the taste should be good. If the kale is as productive as last year, I am sure we will have kale year round again. Lucky me, as a lot of the soup we made with the kale has been great tasting. It is actually one of my favorite breakfasts.

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