VEGETABLE SEEDS: Kale - Red Russian
Brassica napus pabularia
Common name: Raggedy Jack
Russian kale was brought to Canada in the 1800's. Direct seed early, any time after the ground can be worked. Plant seeds 1.25 cm (1/2 in) deep and tamp soil. Thin to an eventual spacing of 30 - 40 cm (12 - 16 in) apart. While kale prefers direct sun, it can also be grown in part shade. Kale is frost tolerant - and sweeter after one - but will not overwinter in Alberta gardens. However, it grows into October/November and is one of the last plants left standing in the garden - if the deer don't find it. Since kale is a biennial, to save seed you would need to overwinter plants in a cold room and replant them out again the next spring. They then bolt to flower quickly, producing an abundance of seed in their second year.
Kale is `cut and come again` meaning you can harvest a few leaves at a time, leaving the rest of the plant to continue growing. Kale is a staple ingredient in green smoothies and can be frozen, dehydrated or canned. Kale also keeps for a month or more bagged in the fridge at the end of the season. We often have this super food sautéed with a little garlic in extra virgin olive oil, adding a splash of apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper.
TRY OUR RECIPE: Kale Chips