Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

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Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  Scarecrow on Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:05 am

For Fran who asked:
Can somebody tell me about kale please - never grown it.
Kale Brassica oleracea v. acephala is a non-heading type of Cabbage.
It is very hardy withstanding heavy frosts and snow (in Scotland) and once established can withstand heat quite well.
There are short and tall varieties and also some ornamental ones that can also be eaten.
The tall ones can reach 1-2 metres and so need plenty of room to grow.

Pick the leaves as required once the plant is big enough.
Kale is cooked the same as cabbage; steamed, boiled or added to soups or stews. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads.
It has high vitamin A content and also vitamin C, riboflavin, iron and calcium. The darker varieties contain oxalic acid.
A cancer sufferer friend of mine insists that Kale (juice) is the best treatment. But don't quote me on that! She swears by it so I hope she's right.

Seeds are available from on-line seed companies like
Eden Seeds
The Lost Seed

Info from The Australian Organic Gardener's Handbook by Keith Smith Very Happy


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Re: Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  Fran on Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:30 am

Thanks Scarecrow - that covers it - appreciate the pics too.

Cool climate vegie I suppose but I might be able to grow it through the winter here. Interested because Pete has talked about it and says he drinks the juice when it's boiled?

Not fond of boiled cabbage so if tastes like that I won't be drinking it - rather use it in a stir fry.

HOw do you use yours.

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Re: Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  Scarecrow on Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:43 am

Yes Fran
Stir fried is the way to go or very lightly steamed in minimum water, with some tomato and when its cooked some cubed cheese that will melt through it.
We do any greens like that, Silverbeet is yummy that way too.

Other than that it goes into casseroles, sometimes soup and the chooks get lots of it too!

I don't drink the kale juice but my friend juices it raw to drink.
Not sure I'd like that No

BTW which state do live in Fran???

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Re: Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  Fran on Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:35 am

Qld - south west of Bundaberg - retired here 2 years ago - before that was out in the back blocks of CQ - extreme climate, arid. Climate here is much kinder - we love it...Fran Smile

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Re: Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  Raymondo on Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:05 pm

Although botanically equivalent, collards are usually milder than kales in flavour. In at the moment I have
Collards - Georgia Southern & Hi-crop
Kales - Red Russian & Black Tuscan
They all look pretty bedraggled at the moment because of repeated attacks from the Cabbage White Butterfly larvae but as the days get cooler, their numbers drop away. Looking forward now to that first killing frost. We've already had lots of frosts but no really harsh ones yet.

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Re: Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  Blossom on Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:26 pm

I grew Tuscan Black last year. Haven't tried Collards. Might get some and give them a try.

I do apple and celery juice and put either 2 leaves kale, spinach or one artichoke through with it. You don't get a lot of juice from kale, but what you get is the chlorophyll which is a potent antioxident. I used this regime every day when recovering from cancer and try to have it once a week now.

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Re: Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  Scarecrow on Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:55 am

Raymondo wrote:Although botanically equivalent, collards are usually milder than kales in flavour. In at the moment I have
Collards - Georgia Southern & Hi-crop
Kales - Red Russian & Black Tuscan
They all look pretty bedraggled at the moment because of repeated attacks from the Cabbage White Butterfly larvae but as the days get cooler, their numbers drop away. Looking forward now to that first killing frost. We've already had lots of frosts but no really harsh ones yet.
I bought a packet of seeds from Phoenix Seeds this year called Morton's Mix and have some really nice ones coming up...mostly the Red Russians though but the chooks can have some of them Wink

I did grow collards once Raymondo...might have to try some more one day!

I find the only way to stop those butterflies is to put a net curtain over them...might not look too pretty but it keeps them off. Also found it keeps the aphids off too. Aphids are a major pest here and make cleaning Broccoli very time and water consuming. Neutral

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Re: Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  Raymondo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:05 am

The Morton's Mix sounds like fun. Frank Morton is a veggie breeder from California who makes seeds from his breeding programs available so that people can select their own varieties. He does it with kales, broccolis and no doubt lettuces as lettuce breeding is his passion. I'm glad Phoenix is making them available.

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Re: Kale - Brassica oleracea v. acephala

Post  guzzigirl on Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:20 pm

Scarecrow wrote:Aphids are a major pest here and make cleaning Broccoli very time and water consuming. Neutral

Two ideas, make that three, I have heard on dealing with aphids in broccoli.

  1. submerge in salted water and the aphids emerge
  2. put in bag in fridge - the aphids drop off
  3. pretend they are not there and just cook and eat with the broccoli pale

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