Sunday, September 4, 2011

A gardener's dream…or is it nightmare?

Some people call it the wonder green.
The Saint calls it “not again.”
Kale grows fast and thick and in all seasons. Here on the wet coast, the purple variety is also used as wintertime ornamental foliage in window boxes and patio planters.
It’s nutritious, packing into a single cup 350% of an adult’s daily Vitamin A requirement, 90% of our Vitamin C needs, and 10% of our fibre.
It can be cooked any number of ways – steamed, sautéed, braised, layered in a casserole, pureed in a smoothie, dehydrated into chips that my cousin Tea swears are as good as Miss Vickie’s. Very young kale is lovely in salads.
I could go on.
But.
You knew there was a but coming, didn’t you?
The down side of kale is that it is so very prolific. Prodigious. Productive.
It sprouts fast and grows faster.
I’m still harvesting the first crop I planted very late this spring and the second is past the salad stage and heading for outright maturity. The third crop (what was I thinking?) is already two inches high.
I like kale. The Saint, witty comments notwithstanding, eats what’s put in front of him. Fodder had enough after the first bunch of the summer. My neighbours avert their eyes and pick up speed when they walk past our house.
You know why.
Kale is the new zucchini.

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