Appalachia Gardening

Deputizing Sow True Seed Kale Reporters @ Large

Sow true seed sponsors squash test

As you already know, Sow True Seed signed on to sponsor the Blind Pig & the Acorn Garden again this year. But have any of you been wondering why they didn’t sponsor the deputizing of Blind Pig & the Acorn @ Large Garden Reporters this summer? Actually they did.

This year Sow True Seed has graciously donated extra Kale seed so that I can deputize @ Large Kale Reporters. The time for planting spring Kale for most of us was getting awful close by the time I received the Kale seeds in the mail-so I decided to deputize my reporters for the fall gardening season instead of the spring/summer. Kale is one of those things that can be grown in the spring or the fall of the year.

Think you’d like to be an @ Large Kale Reporter? Well let me tell you about the Kale varieties. (click on any of the variety names below to jump over to Sow True Seed’s website to read more details about the type of Kale)

Sow True Seed Lacinato Kale


Lacinato – I’m thinking this one might over winter for many of us.

Sow True Seed Red Ursa


Red Ursa – This one is pretty-looks almost like a flower.

Sow True Seed dwarf siberian kale


Dwarf Siberian – This one shouldn’t take up too much room.

Sow True Seed Red Russian Kale


Red Russian – This one doesn’t stand the frost as well as the others. Might be the one for you folks farther south. I like the part about eating it raw-would be great for salads.

White Russian – I want to grow this one just because it says its a well-kept secret.

Sow True Seed Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch


Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch – I recently read about this variety-maybe it was in Grit? Anyway it was the author of the article’s favorite Kale to grow.

Wow-now that’s a lot of Kale! You want to know something? I have never ever grown kale. This will be my first attempt. You want to know something else? I didn’t even know what it was until a few years ago when Miss Cindy fixed some for me. If you’ve never had it either-a quick google search will yield tons of information about how to cook and eat kale.

I guess by now you’re wondering exactly what does being a Blind Pig & the Acorn Kale Reporter @ Large mean?

Sow True Seed is always looking for feedback about their seeds. You know things like plant growth, production, and most of all taste. This year they’ve come up with 2 simple forms for you to fill out-just details about your garden area/type and a few observations you noticed along the growth cycle of your kale plants. I’ll mail you the forms along with the seeds-and then you can mail the forms along to Sow True Seed once you complete them.

To be an @ large reporter you simply need to plant the kale seeds, fill out the short forms, and send your findings to Sow True Seed. If you can snap a few photos along the way for me to share here on the Blind Pig-that would be fantastic too.

If you’d like to be deputized as an @ large kale reporter. Email me your name, your address, and your top 3 choices of kale from the varieties above and I’ll send you some seeds! Email me at: [email protected] *This reporting at large project has closed, but be on the lookout for the next one!



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  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Lorraine-Great! Thank you for wanting to play along. Email your address to me at [email protected]
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Lorraine Adams
    July 16, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Sign me up Tipper. I live in Tennessee and have a great place to test these seeds. I have three raised beds plus area around my fruit trees.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2015 at 11:51 am

    RB-I like Kale raw and I like it steamed too. Now I’m wanting to try it in a soup after all the comments : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    July 15, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Ed-kielbasa soup is soup made with polish sausage. I buy them sometimes to put in kraut. Your tater-mater soup is my favorite! I could live off it. I really believe I could : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    July 15, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Good luck with all those interesting varieties! The dwarf ones sound cute 🙂
    I’ve been eating kale ever since I tried to replicate the hearty and tasty caldo verde (green soup!) I often ate when I was working on a farm in Portugal. Last year I grew the Lacinato, which was quite a producer – two leaves was enough for a meal. Unfortunately, I only found out AFTER I pulled out my plants and gave the stalks to the goats last autumn that I might have been able to overwinter them…argh!! Maybe this year. I’m actually planning a fall planting of kale this time.
    Overall, this year my gardening is out of hand, with all the rain we’ve been having. Weeds to my waist in places and not a single vegetable to be harvested yet! But I’m still plugging away on the not-raining days, and hoping for at least some squash and beans sometime before winter.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 14, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Tipper, I have heard of kale but what is kielbasa soup? I have never been out of the mountains for more than a few days at a time so I don’t know much about soups. I wouldn’t eat greens of any kind when I was young so we might have had kale and I didn’t know it, but I am sure we didn’t have kielbasa soup.
    I love soup! Especially tater-mater-onion soup as I call it. Crumble up some cornbread in it and set a glass of ice cold buttermilk beside it and I’m in heaven.
    I’ll have to pass on the seeds. I don’t have any idea how to grow kale or to cook it. I would just be wasting seeds that others could put to better use. If you make the kielbasa soup and you like it, please post the recipe. I like learning about new foods and flavors.

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    July 14, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Some interesting kale variety seeds here. I had no idea there were this many varieties of kale.
    If you eat it, how do you like yours prepared? I like mine mostly in soups, or even by itself stewed in a bit of good rich chicken broth.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 14, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Tipper–In answer to Bryant’s question about Swiss chard, I’ve grown it for years. It is good raw in salads, makes a fine addition to Italian-style soups, and is delicious steamed or boiled by itself. One caveat to all the above is “provided you like raw and cooked spinach.” I find that spinach and Swiss chard have quite similar tastes, but chard has a couple of things over spinach. For starters, the leaves are appreciably larger, hence less time involved in picking a mess. Second, it comes with stems in colors such as red and yellow. Incidentally, if the leaves get rather larger and the stems seem tough, just strip them and cook the stems like you would asparagus.
    It’s a cool weather crop, and here in upstate S. C. where I live if planted as a fall crop it will weather through the winter and give a second crop in early spring.
    Finally, it does not require cooking and draining the way poke does.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Think I may try to purchase some and try them here as a fall or winter garden in Central Texas. Don’t want to waste your “deputy” allotment since things haven’t completely sorted themselves around here out since the squash trials which I didn’t get to complete.
    I like all of my greens best raw (except collard greens); although, Jim’s Kale and Kielbasa soup sounds tasty. I have wanted to try Kale chips but have not been successful with the recipes I’ve tried so far. Seems like they should be so simple!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    At 7:02 this morning I received 2
    e-mails of The Blind Pig and the
    Acorn. Since they were exactly the same, I deleted one. It’s good to know I’m not the only one that does things twice.
    I’ve never eat any kale before, but I’d probably like it. I love turnip greens and that stuff
    Popeye eats. (Don’t like Mustard
    Greens tho). Maybe early next year I’ll try some of that
    Lacinato (Italian) type Kale…Ken

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Very interesting, I will try some.
    Does anyone on the blog know what Swiss Chard is? If so, what is the best recipe to prepare it for dinner? Does it have to be para-boiled like Polk Salad?

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I, like you, had never eaten Kale until about five years ago. A cousin of my husband brought some down to use during her visit with us. It was my first introduction; she cooked it and we had it with the dinner I cooked for all of us. I did enjoy it as it reminded me of spinach. The leaves were huge and had some red stems. I don’t know the variety, but it was grown in CT.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 14, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I really appreciate that STS puts an estimate of the number of seed. One of my frustrations with buying seed is not knowing how far it will go. This year I bought two packs of corn seed thinking it would be enough. But just to check, I counted a pack and discovered that two were not enough. But when I went back to get more that variety was sold out. I bought enough of a different variety. It also has a lot to do with how expensive the seed are, higher price with more seed can be cheaper.
    I have grown kale and it does really well as a cold season crop. I would recommend fall planting over spring even up in the mountains because it doesn’t stand the heat. Until about 12 years ago or so I had not made a fall garden but since then I have kept something growing year-round. And a really good thing is that the bugs are gone ! The worst down side is having to dig up plants in the spring because you need the room.
    By the way, look at the number of seed, deduct for any reasonable over-sow rate, then divide by the recommended spacing and see how many feet of row ! One pack of their seed will probably feed everybody in your zipcode !

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 14, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Is it already time to start planning the fall planting. Seems like summer just got here.
    Kale, I’m told, is the most nutritious of all green vegetables so I try to consume a lot of kale.
    If I had a garden kale would be one of the first things I planted.

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    July 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I would love to be part of this. Sending off an email right now. Barbara

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    July 14, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Tipper: Your Kale endeavor seems like a rewarding project. BUT I done planted my veggie garden with FLOWERS and MORE FLOWERS! So I wish all the brave growers perfect conditions and lots of Kale!
    Eva Nell
    p.s. The girls were so great ‘ON THE SQUARE’ and it was great seeing you and your family!Perfect ending to a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 14, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Tipper–I think kale is a largely overlooked vegetable with a wide variety of uses. We make a kale and kielbasa soup that, when pair with a good chunk of cornbread, offers a mighty fine meal for a winter’s day.
    Jim Casada

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