Appalachia Gardening

Kale Report

sow true seed kale seeds

Earlier this year Sow True Seeds graciously donated extra Kale seed so that I could deputize @ Large Kale Reporters. Kale is one of those things that can be grown in the spring or the fall of the year and will over winter in many parts of the country.

We use 4 raised beds in the backyard for growing the majority of our tomatoes each summer. Once the tomato plants started dying out I began planting my kale in 2 of those beds. I pulled up all the tomato plants and gave the dirt a good turn before planting.

Red russian kale from sow true seed


In the first bed I planted Red Russian and as you can see from the photo some kind of bug thinks its very tasty.

sow true seed kale


I waited for another tomato bed to die down and then I completed the same process and in that bed I planted Dwarf Siberian, Vates,Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch, and Lacinato. As you can see from these photos, this bed is just beautiful. No bugs, even though there is less than two feet between this bed and the bug ridden one.

But…I have found something else eating on this beautiful kale bed…

wild kale eater in wnc


She’s pretty cute so I think I’ll let her eat all she wants too.

If you signed up to be a Kale Reporter @ Large, send an update to me when you can. Email me at [email protected]



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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 7, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    We did plant some Kale late…IN fact it was so late that we bought some Kale plants..9 to a package.
    I also sowed some seed to see if the Kale would make this late. It all was doing beautifully. The plants were spaced just so and they were growing. The seed had just peeked through the ground. We went to the 4 foot high permaculture bed to look them over one morning and noticed a plant or two was missing. I blamed a squirrel as I also saw a couple of hickory nuts in the bed…The next couple of days they all disappeared…Just had to be the deer. They just “moseyed up to the bed” like it was a buffet table. Made us sick! Even the little Kale that was tender sprouts were gone…We never dreamed they would come that close (4 feet) to the house!
    I didn’t plant anymore…
    My husbands brother called and gave us plenty of Kale and greens. I still have some seed, so next spring I will plant some more.
    We love Kale, spinach, turnip greens, mustard and collards…
    I usually mix mustard, turnip and Kale together. I like collards and spinach cooked alone.
    I am trying this recipe when I get my next mess of greens soon.
    Mixed Greens and Potatoes
    1/2 lb. kale
    1/2 lb. turnip greens
    1/2 lb. spinach
    2 T. bacon drippings
    2 Cups diced potatoes
    1/4 Cup boiling water
    1 1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. sugar
    1/4 tsp pepper
    dash cayenne pepper
    6 strips crisp bacon
    Wash greens in warm water. Rinse 3 times in cold water. Put bacon drippings into 3-quart saucepan. Add potatoes, boiling water salt and sugar. Cover: cook 15 minutes. Add kale and cook 5 minutes. Add spinach and turnip greens and cook 4-5minutes longer. Add pepper and cayenne. Toss lightly. Top with crisp bacon. Serve with creamy mayonnaise sauce. (See following recipe)
    Cream Mayonnaise Sauce
    9 T. butter
    3/4 Cup flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 1/2 Cup milk
    1/2 Cup mayonnaise
    1/2 T. lemon juice
    1/2 T. chives
    Melt butter and stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Boil several minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Pass with greens….
    NOPE…this ain’t diet…but after all you’re eating greens which are
    healthy for you…ha
    This came out of my cookbook “The Practical Produce Cookbook–How to Plant, Pick, Prepare and Preserve Produce”…
    I love this book!
    I have a few more Kale recipes if you would like them Tipper!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I may have forgot to hit post, but
    sometime around noon I did comment.
    (Guess I had a Senior Moment.)
    Don’t think I ever ate any Kale,
    but I like spinach and other greens.
    Wonder what that pretty girl likes in your raised Kale bed?

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Miss Cindy-so for I like the dwarf variety best-but they are all good. I think the purpose of the dwarf is to save space in the garden.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Ed I think the taste is most similar to spinach. You don’t have to wait till after a frost to eat it-but folks do say the taste is sweeter after a frost. I’m no kale expert either but I’m liking it so far!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 11:55 am

    No wonder those Mountain Girls are
    so pretty and healthy, and I would
    have to compare you to my own mom
    with your kindness.
    I’m anxious to hear from the other
    Kale Reporters soon. I don’t think
    I’ve ever ate any of that stuff.

  • Reply
    Chris Smith
    October 7, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Everything is looking great, excited to see what the other reporters come up with!

  • Reply
    Doug Bishop
    October 7, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Lay leaves out on cookie sheet . Season to taste. Toast . Kale Chips.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 7, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I’ve never tried kale. Does it taste like cabbage? Or broccoli? Or spinach? I like all of those. Do you need to wait until after a frost to eat it?

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 7, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I’m a little jealous. I have the dwarf blue curled scotch. It is up but still too small to pick any. I’ve been getting mustard and turnip greens, lettuce and radishes from the fall garden.
    I always have trouble with cabbage butterfly larvae in September. They will be around until it gets cold enough to send them in for the year. It can be really frustrating as the eat like a horse. I don’t like to do it, but I need to spray for them.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 8:04 am

    I like the bigger bug munching; nice picture!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 7, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Yes, I think you should keep her too! The kale is beautiful as is the girl.
    Which one do you like the best? What is the purpose of the dwarf kale, is it for salads? I buy a lot of kale but I’ve never had any dwarf kale.
    Your kale all looks wonderful to me, even the ones the bugs like!

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