View from the deck on a glorious morning in early June.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let Them Eat Kale!

We are getting layers of past here! This is being re-posted January 2009 from "Blog from the Kootenays", where it was moved from yahoo 360.

Note from October 29,  2007: I am happy to say that we finally have a good deer fence. It wasn't ready till mid June, so I still didn't have quite as much garden as I'd like. And would you believe that some crops are now being eaten by voles, a rodent related to lemmings. They devastated the snap beans, did serious damage to carrots, and were starting on the potatoes when I harvested them.

What's left? Well.....we have a LOT of kale!

From Yahoo 360, October 25 2006

We are working on a new fence, but this year deer ate the garden. With one exception:
For some reason this particular bunch has not touched the volunteer kale. Members of the Brassica family are supposed to be a favorite deer food. Thank goodness these kids have not read the book.

Kale has started to self seed and is almost becoming a weed. Even in good garden years it gives us our first taste of fresh greens in spring and the last fresh leafy greens after the frost in fall.
We have a sort-of-curly green, and lots and lots of wonderful Russian red, the toughest survivor of all. The red kale was a gift from my friend Beth James who died in 2007. Every spring I give baby kale plants away to anyone who wants them in her name.

The traditional Dutch winter dish is finely chopped steamed kale mixed with mashed potatoes and served with smoked sausage. It turns out the Irish and Scots claim the same dish for their own and call it Colcannon. Satisfying comfort food in any language!

We are also eating cheese-and-kale sandwhiches for lunch, kale and red pepper stirfry with beef or tofu for dinner, smuggling it finely chopped into lentil soup and wherever else it will go. The trick with kale is to chop it really fine and add some grease. Bacon, butter, olive oil, sesame oil, whatever the dish calls for. A bit of fat helps your body to convert the beta carotenes into vitamin A.
Kale is low in calories and one of the richest sources of nutrients in the plant kingdom. It freezes well too. Just look at this baggie of intense chlorophyll, ready for the freezer.

Later my kale garden got in the paper! From December 3 2007:

The friend of a friend who came to our land a few weeks ago, enjoyed a tour of the place and then sat on my not-quite-pristine kitchen floor sipping Lapsang Souchong tea and stripping kale seeds off the stalks, this person turned out to be a high-class chef and food writer. I am glad I didn't know it or I might have felt self conscious. Karen wrote about her outing in her monthly column in the Vancouver Sun that was devoted to kale. "The mother of all kale gardens " that she mentions is mine!

Karen Barnaby's article is still here:
Another place with good information on kale is

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