Thursday, 25 June 2009

Kale

I find it easy to grow a variety of brassica plants... these include cabbage and cauliflower, a few chinese vegetables, broccoli and kale.  The fact that I am able to grow all of these easily means that they must be very flexible in basic nutrition and needs.  The soil here is very "clayey" and depleted in trace elements ( old continent)  but with plenty of  compost and my stinging nettle fertiliser,  these vegetables all grow very well.
The first kind of kale that I grew was "Tuscan black kale."   I tried to collect seeds from my own plants,  but I was too late in letting them go to seed...  and it became too hot to produce any.   These plants are still young,  but the leaves are beginning to show "black kale" traits.  (The seeds came from a company that produces "open pollinated" seeds, and I'll be more careful to collect some seeds from these plants this year.)
This variety is "Siberian kale" and is also easy to grow and tastes remarkably similar... 
... and here is "Red Russian kale" that has the frilliest leaves of all.  You'll notice more stalks than leaves,  as we've eaten a lot of this one lately.  
If you look carefully here,  you will see my crop of clothes pegs.  (I think you can click on the picture to see it in more detail.) These are three more cauliflowers covered by their outer leaves... and there are more to come!  It does look a bit like a crop of clothes pegs at the moment though! 
Below is a portrait of one of the young hens.  It's the one with the funny hair do...  it makes her look very grumpy... or perhaps it's just a '60's bouffant job!!!   




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