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Blue Curled Vates Kale

Blue Curled Vates Kale

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea

$3.95
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# of seeds per packet: 105

Description

55 days. Blue Curled Vates is an open-pollinated version of curly kale. It's easy to grow and will produce spring through fall. Very cold hardy and can overwinter until spring—with winter protection—to produce baby kale shoots and kale raab (edible flowering shoots). This kale stays shorter than most (max height is about 2 ½ feet). Kale is so nutritious and we think learning how to appreciate it is an important part of a healthy diet. Blue Curled Vates is good prepared as you would any kale. We love to make massaged kale salad marinated with citrus juice–where the acid in the citrus "cooks out" the bitterness and makes kale leaves tender. The curly shape of this kale makes it perfect for kale chips. Kale can also be preserved by blanching and freezing. Believe it or not, we've even pickled kale (inspired by Sandor Katz), making it yummy enough for a picky kid! (See Recipes tab.)

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Kale tolerates cold weather so it can be started extra early. Start kale seeds indoors March 1st at 72-85° (can use a heating mat). Days to germination: 5-8. Transplant outside March 27th, 12” apart. Or, sow kale seeds directly outside anytime March 27th – August 1st. Sow 3-4 seeds together in a group ½” deep, spaced 12” between groups. Keep seeds evenly moist until germination. Thin to the strongest plant in each group. For baby kale, broadcast sow seeds 2-3” apart. Protect kale plants from deer, groundhogs, and rabbits which will devour them. Kale plants may be eaten by European Cabbageworm (which is the caterpillar of the small white butterfly that flits around the garden). If they cause significant damage, hand remove caterpillars or spray organic BT.

 

Harvest:

Baby Leaves, for cut-and-come-again: when leaves are 3-4”, cut entire plant with scissors 1-2" above soil level so you don’t damage the growing crown. Plants will re-grow so you can return for many harvests. Mature Kale: harvest individual leaves off of mature plants once they are 2 months old. Don’t remove more than 1/3 of the leaves at a time.

 

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Kale is somewhat difficult to save seed from. Kale plants must overwinter in order to bloom and produce seed. Sometimes kale plants will survive the winter with protection. Kale is in the Brassica family so it is insect pollinated and cross-pollinated. Kale will cross with any Brassica oleracea that are flowering at the same time (broccoli, collards, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower). Isolation distance: ½ mile. It can suffer from inbreeding depression if you don’t save seeds from enough plants. Minimum population size: 10-50 plants. To harvest seed, allow plants to flower and collect seed from mature pods.

Seed Stories

Brassica oleracea originated in the Mediterranean region and probably resembled modern leafy kale in its wild form, before being selected for a variety of unusual traits, yielding heading cabbage, Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, etc. Kale has been grown and eaten since prehistoric times and the curly type appears in descriptions going back at least to ancient Romans, who referred to Brassica plants with the Latin “Caulis,” from which most of the modern names are derived. “Kale” seems to come from the Scottish, for whom the crop was such an essential dietary component that “kale” came to be refer to meals in general. The name “Vates” comes from an acronym for the Virginia Truck Experimental Station, which was a major center for Brassica breeding in the first half of the twentieth Century, and has since become associated with the Scotch curled style of kale in general.

Related products

Blue Curled Vates Kale [[start tab]]

Description

55 days. Blue Curled Vates is an open-pollinated version of curly kale. It's easy to grow and will produce spring through fall. Very cold hardy and can overwinter until spring—with winter protection—to produce baby kale shoots and kale raab (edible flowering shoots). This kale stays shorter than most (max height is about 2 ½ feet). Kale is so nutritious and we think learning how to appreciate it is an important part of a healthy diet. Blue Curled Vates is good prepared as you would any kale. We love to make massaged kale salad marinated with citrus juice–where the acid in the citrus "cooks out" the bitterness and makes kale leaves tender. The curly shape of this kale makes it perfect for kale chips. Kale can also be preserved by blanching and freezing. Believe it or not, we've even pickled kale (inspired by Sandor Katz), making it yummy enough for a picky kid! (See Recipes tab.)

[[end tab]] [[start tab]]

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Kale tolerates cold weather so it can be started extra early. Start kale seeds indoors March 1st at 72-85° (can use a heating mat). Days to germination: 5-8. Transplant outside March 27th, 12” apart. Or, sow kale seeds directly outside anytime March 27th – August 1st. Sow 3-4 seeds together in a group ½” deep, spaced 12” between groups. Keep seeds evenly moist until germination. Thin to the strongest plant in each group. For baby kale, broadcast sow seeds 2-3” apart. Protect kale plants from deer, groundhogs, and rabbits which will devour them. Kale plants may be eaten by European Cabbageworm (which is the caterpillar of the small white butterfly that flits around the garden). If they cause significant damage, hand remove caterpillars or spray organic BT.

 

Harvest:

Baby Leaves, for cut-and-come-again: when leaves are 3-4”, cut entire plant with scissors 1-2" above soil level so you don’t damage the growing crown. Plants will re-grow so you can return for many harvests. Mature Kale: harvest individual leaves off of mature plants once they are 2 months old. Don’t remove more than 1/3 of the leaves at a time.

 

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Kale is somewhat difficult to save seed from. Kale plants must overwinter in order to bloom and produce seed. Sometimes kale plants will survive the winter with protection. Kale is in the Brassica family so it is insect pollinated and cross-pollinated. Kale will cross with any Brassica oleracea that are flowering at the same time (broccoli, collards, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower). Isolation distance: ½ mile. It can suffer from inbreeding depression if you don’t save seeds from enough plants. Minimum population size: 10-50 plants. To harvest seed, allow plants to flower and collect seed from mature pods.

[[end tab]] [[start tab]]

Seed Stories

Brassica oleracea originated in the Mediterranean region and probably resembled modern leafy kale in its wild form, before being selected for a variety of unusual traits, yielding heading cabbage, Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, etc. Kale has been grown and eaten since prehistoric times and the curly type appears in descriptions going back at least to ancient Romans, who referred to Brassica plants with the Latin “Caulis,” from which most of the modern names are derived. “Kale” seems to come from the Scottish, for whom the crop was such an essential dietary component that “kale” came to be refer to meals in general. The name “Vates” comes from an acronym for the Virginia Truck Experimental Station, which was a major center for Brassica breeding in the first half of the twentieth Century, and has since become associated with the Scotch curled style of kale in general.

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