Friday, October 10, 2014

Grow Kale!

Let's talk about kale, even if you don't like it. First of all, if you're not growing it already, you should---it's impossible to kill, very productive, and you can grow it indoors all year 'round. Before we had the greenroom, we grew kale indoors in a planter in a sunny window and harvested tons of it and the plants lasted a few years. It also grows outside in almost any climate, but if you live somewhere with a cold snowy season I'd just recommend doing it indoors only so that you can harvest all through the winter.

Second of all, if you don't like kale, you'll find ways to enjoy it, and they sure do say it's healthy (except in extreme quantities). My husband loves his bitter leafy greens and will eat the kale in anything, even just straight-up sauteed with garlic, but I don't find it pleasant that way. What I recommend for people like me is delicious stuff like kale chips, cheesy greens dip, greens pesto, and---what's more---I get a few leaves of kale in my body every single day by tossing a few leaves into the morning smoothie. You can't taste it, and you're probably benefiting from its superpowers. What's not to like? You should grow it.
Throw a few leaves of kale into homemade salsa. You'll never
A smoothie made of kale, frozen blueberries,
100% grape juice, a banana, soy milk, and
a handful of almonds is our morning breakfast.
We have tried two varieties so far, to great success. For indoors in a planter, we grew the "Dwarf blue curled" variety from the Botanical Interests seed company. They looked like this:

In the greenroom, we are growing the "Red Winter" variety, also from Botanical Interests:

Both of these varieties are indeterminate---that is, they keep growing and growing and growing even as you cut leaves away. Those Red Winter plants in the greenroom were planted in March, 2013, and are still growing great. The Dwarf blue curled kale looked like this after a few years:
After a few years of growth and continual
harvesting, the Dwarf blue kale has these long
stalks but still produces great kale.
They just never die. Eventually, we killed our indoor dwarf blue kale as we moved our kale operations into the big greenroom planter, but it would probably have lived a lot longer. We gave the stems to the chickens.