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This is the first year I tried to grow Kale. I wrote about planting this fine Kale in my post: The Great Fall Garden Transformation, but little did I know what joy this wonder plant would give me.
There is a Kale craze sweeping the nation and for good reason. This super food is packed with nutrition – some even call it a plant healer.
Consider all these amazing traits:
- 9 essential amino acids needed to form the proteins within the human body—-histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine (not unlike how the protein in meat works)
- 1 gram of fiber per serving
- 3-1 carb-to-protein ratio — complex carbohydrate at that
- 9 other non-essential amino acids—making a whopping 18 total
- Omega 3 – although it is considered a fat-free food
- Vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin (good for sunblock, eye sight), Vitamin C
- Calcium – which is actually absorbed 25% better than whole cow milk in kale form
- And to balance all that calcium, it also contains magnesium to keep it in check
- Anticancer compounds, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbino are packed in too
Kale is a part of the cabbage family but it is a little on the wild side. Blog partner Chris, would love this description of Kale -the “hippie” member of the cabbage family.
Growing it is super easy..so all you brown thumb nay-sayers...even you can do it. All you need is soil – in a bed or pot – fertilizer, a kale transplant (when putting them in the ground I prefer transplant to seed, but if you wanted to grow seeds inside and then transplant that would work). Some sunlight and water – I only watered the first day I planted – nature did the rest. Voila – Rockin’ Kale.
By now you are on board and ready to dive into eating a “whole mess” of Kale – but how you wonder?
Here is an amazing “How To” video from one of my favorite organizations – America’s Test Kitchen.
Microwave Kale Chips
I made them for my Thanksgiving feast and what a hit. Light and airy, comparable to super bad potato chips. Yum!
Enjoy the recipe! Thanks so much for reading our blog. On this day, I am thankful for all of you and my new love -Kale.
Happy Gardening & Kale Experimenting
No special tools either. Cut and save seed heads in open bags and boxes.
Later, I shake them over an old metal pan, then pick out the trash with my fingers.
Pour seeds in a jar and label. You’ll thank yourself in the spring.
I save poppy seeds, woodland tobacco, mallow, bishops flower, larkspur, hollyhock, wild campanula, evening primrose and celosia. What about you?
Another plus–seed saving gives me a great sense of continuity. Already, I’m looking forward to next year.
So I called my friend Allen in Phoenix last week to see if his garden was burning up the record-breaking heat wave.
Al was cool (as usual). From his volunteer work at a community garden, he learned how to make cabanas. Here are photos of his garden on those scary triple digit days.
This would also be a great solution for my friend Margie who lives in Georgia. She lost a bunch of trees this spring, and now has a prized camellia is sweating it out in the sun.
When I see great solutions like this, I aways think of the quote from my idol, NC gardener Elizabeth Lawrence.
“No one gardens alone”
How nice that we can learn so much from each other. Thanks, Allen. Wishing you cooler days ahead.
Because flowers come and go, and sometimes fail, I’m always nursing a few annuals along this time of year. In fact, I just planted cosmos seed in plugs today. I’m hoping they’ll take over when these splendid flowering tobacco flower out.
This is the third year I’ve turned my half of the driveway into a tomato garden.
Tomato plants like sun and the driveway is the sunniest spot on our property. There’s also lots of reflected light from the pavement and large white garage doors.
This is such a good spot that the garden keeps expanding. Along with tomatoes, I have other sun lovers like peppers, eggplant, and herbs in the driveway this year. (Kudos to my loving husband for being such a tolerant fellow.)
And these brightly colored tomato cages look great, but they’re not tall enough by a long shot, so I add wooden stakes and trellises.
BTY, growing up in the South “the garden” always meant the garden we got our meals from. Daddy always had one. His mother raised 5 kids on “the garden” and a dead soldiers pension. Bless her heart.
What foods are you growing this year?