Gardening

Still harvesting kale from the garden

I’ve been harvesting kale from the garden since fall and there is still plenty left to pick.

Even after the those cold nights in December, when the temperature dipped down to the single digits, my kale still is green and fresh with no signs of freeze damage. I knew they were very cold tolerant, but I’m still pleasantly surprised how well they’re holding up this winter.

There are 11 plants left. They are almost three feet tall with a deep green top of curly leaves. I don’t know what the variety is. I bought them as transplants from the garden center last spring and neglected to write down the name.

The lower leaves are gone from the plants. I picked those as they matured. It was obvious early on that we were not going to be able to eat all of that kale ourselves. So, a lot of  the crop went to feed the chickens. They love it —  especially now in the winter when no other leafy greens are growing.

My kale is next to the chicken run. The hens in the background are expecting me to toss them a few leaves.

My kale is next to the chicken run. The hens in the background are expecting me to toss them a few leaves.

Kale is more than just a garnish for the buffet table, it’s probably the most nutritionally dense vegetable we grow in the garden. I like to add it to vegetable soup. I don’t eat it uncooked very often but I know many people that do.

Think of kale as the easiest way to extend the gardening season with the least amount of cash expense.

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.