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Giant Kale

 
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Back again! I'm looking for kale that I can grow in the greenhouse in the winter till I return the new seedlings in the spring. Anybody know of any Midwest heirloom kale?
 
Blake Lenoir
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Greetings all! Returned once again. I wanna find out if the Spainards have traded their kale to the French years ago and is it reccorded?
 
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I was just looking and found a couple more resources for Europeans...

I have no experience with this seed company, but they have a heck of a lot of variety from all over the world, including giant (Jersey walking stick) kale:

Seeds Gallery shop: Jesrsey walking stick kale

I can't find where they're located but they seem to ship all over, and have varieties specifically from a lot of European countries. All they claim is that they don't buy seeds from China. No permie creds, a standard seed company.

And the other resource is something I should have discovered a long time ago, the amazing folks at Kokopelli in France. (Website in French.) The French government is a very heavy-handed "seed dictatorship" following everything the multinationals ask them to do. There is an official list of approved seeds and there are approved suppliers for them, as all over the EU, seed suppliers need to be absolutely huge and have a very big volume to be "approved" to sell seeds legally. There is some exception for "amateurs" but a professional farmer cannot use "amateur" seeds and no one can sell the products of these semi-illegal plantings. The folks at Kokopelli tell the French government to take a hike and have somehow been finding a way (including spending a lot of time in court and paying a lot of fines) to distribute open pollinated, traditional local varieties for more than 20 years, and they have a huge collection. They have an enormous collection of kales (choux-frisées in French), but it seems it doesn't include giant kale. But I thought I would add this resource to the thread. They have plenty of permie-like cred.
 
Blake Lenoir
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I'm looking for the ones the French took to Canada and into the American Great Lakes. Which types of kale have been used by the French in the 1680s to the 1760s?
 
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Caldo verde is the soup in Portugal for everyday. Made with this kale. The leaves are animal food and the central   (new) ones are for the soup.

Greeting Lèo
 
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Does anyone out there have a giant kale they love?  Anyone else growing the stuff?  Do you have a seed source you could share?

I grow 'tree kale '.  Baker Creek seed. Comes in purple too. Grows by cuttings and seed. Mine is 10 feet but growing sideways. I have rocky soil so never staked it. The chickens and ducks love it.
 
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More Tree Collard resources and suppliers.

I prefer the tree collards because:

" Lacking any of the oxalic acid that makes most brassicas slightly bitter, tree collards taste slightly sweet and nutty, even when raw, and their tender stems don’t get stringy when you chew them. They compare to baby kale as a salad vegetable,"

that's from here:       https://www.hortmag.com/edible-gardening/tree-collards-how-to-grow-and-use-them

My favorite source for cuttings, seeds, plants and info:

https://www.projecttreecollard.org




 
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Dave de Basque wrote:I was just looking and found a couple more resources for Europeans...

I have no experience with this seed company, but they have a heck of a lot of variety from all over the world, including giant (Jersey walking stick) kale:

Seeds Gallery shop: Jesrsey walking stick kale

I can't find where they're located but they seem to ship all over, and have varieties specifically from a lot of European countries. All they claim is that they don't buy seeds from China. No permie creds, a standard seed company.

And the other resource is something I should have discovered a long time ago, the amazing folks at Kokopelli in France. (Website in French.) The French government is a very heavy-handed "seed dictatorship" following everything the multinationals ask them to do. There is an official list of approved seeds and there are approved suppliers for them, as all over the EU, seed suppliers need to be absolutely huge and have a very big volume to be "approved" to sell seeds legally. There is some exception for "amateurs" but a professional farmer cannot use "amateur" seeds and no one can sell the products of these semi-illegal plantings. The folks at Kokopelli tell the French government to take a hike and have somehow been finding a way (including spending a lot of time in court and paying a lot of fines) to distribute open pollinated, traditional local varieties for more than 20 years, and they have a huge collection. They have an enormous collection of kales (choux-frisées in French), but it seems it doesn't include giant kale. But I thought I would add this resource to the thread. They have plenty of permie-like cred.


Interesting! I had a look at their website. When I go to the FAQ (in French that has a different name of course) I can read the answer to where they ship, but they do write there that it's different for countries outside the EU (not all countries the same, it depends ...). You can find too where they are located, even their address. But what I wanted to find was if I can pay with my Dutch bank account (no credit card).
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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When I took over that allotment garden, now almost a year ago, part of it was covered with giant kale plants. I don't know if those are the Giant Kale you mean here. I don't know at all what variety they were, they just grew there (and the former renters thought they were 'Eeuwig Moes', but I know they weren't). It looks like a 'Walking Stick Kale', as far as I know them from images.

Sorry but I pulled out almost all of those plants. I didn't need that much kale. But they are returning ... they have spread their seeds, so new kale plants came up during the year. I am as good as sure they will appear also this year.

I did let some of those new plants grow on. But I noticed they had clubroot. So I pulled them out again. Only one, that looked healthy, is still there. Probably that one will have flowers this year, and then seeds ... So I can collect those seeds.
 
Dave de Basque
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:

Dave de Basque wrote:I was just looking and found a couple more resources for Europeans...

...

And the other resource is something I should have discovered a long time ago, the amazing folks at Kokopelli in France. (Website in French.) ...


Interesting! I had a look at their website. When I go to the FAQ (in French that has a different name of course) I can read the answer to where they ship, but they do write there that it's different for countries outside the EU (not all countries the same, it depends ...). You can find too where they are located, even their address. But what I wanted to find was if I can pay with my Dutch bank account (no credit card).



It seems you can. On their "Foire aux questions" (I'm impressed that they managed to reverse-engineer the abbreviation FAQ) they say (I won't bother translating since you're Dutch and you folks have a reputation for speaking everything fluently):

"Quels modes de paiement proposez-vous ?

Vous pouvez choisir le mode de paiement qui vous convient le mieux : par carte bancaire, par chèque (la commande sera expédiée à réception du chèque) ou par virement bancaire (la commande sera expédiée à réception du virement), mais ATTENTION : Dans le libellé de votre virement, le N° de la commande doit IMPÉRATIVEMENT apparaitre. Sans cela, nous ne pouvons garantir la livraison de celle-ci en temps et en heure. Merci pour votre coopération.

Les virements bancaires mettent approximativement 2 jours ouvrés à arriver sur notre compte. Nous vous remercions donc pour votre patience."

So I suppose you take the order to the end, indicate you're paying by bank transfer, and they assign you an order number. If things work properly, which I imagine they do, it seems like they really have their act together. And then they send your order once the transfer hits their account.
 
Dave de Basque
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:... But I noticed they had clubroot. So I pulled them out again.



What is clubroot?
Staff note (Nancy Reading) :

Clubroot thread: https://permies.com/t/33814/Clubroot

 
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I regret that the first time I planted Dyno Kale in California I had 8ft high Kale bushes that prduced for a year and a three quarters (even when it was 120 degrees)
The leaves were so tender all through this time and could be cooked in a minute or two.
My regret is that after flowering I did not save the seeds - they would have been perfect for reseeding and sharing (hundreds of thousands of them probably).
Since then I found out that seed saving can work for hybrids ...

Varieties:
Purple Tree Collards
Merritt Tree Collard
Green Tree Collards
Dinosaur Tree Collards
Daubenton Kale
Jolly Green
Big Blue Tree Collard
Michigan Tree Collard

Anyway the greens you mention are more likely Tree Collards - which are believed to come to the US from Africa originally.
Here is some info about them bit.ly/treecollards
More on Edible Perennials (easier gardening and good for the soil) bit.ly/moredipleperennials

In the USA The Tree Collard Foundation are experts in cultivating and supplying many varieties of them
The cuttings take easily and last 7-10 years minimum
They produce all year round

Seeds are inexpensive and easy to grow into plants. but may or may not be the absolute best plants.

Cuttings bought from Project Tree Collard will be from the best plants - and will include the last season's latest improvements.
https://www.projecttreecollard.org

It says on the site that if you are involved in a school garden or charitable organization and need some tree collard cuttings or seeds, let them know and they will do their best to work out a discount on those items for you.
 
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Check out this for info on growing and propagating  (I think they do not produce seeds, but to go by many names )
http://treecollards.blogspot.com/

BTW, I've grown them (got plants online and from local nursery), but when ignored, they grow into monsters.  Limbs that fall over, keep going, sending their children skyward.  They are beautiful, and in my 7-8 zone, they overwinter quite well and are totally perennial.  (And I think they crossbreed promiscuously, hence to myriad names.)

I'm going to try Baker's 'thousand head kale' this year, also.  (Don't ask me why...?)

 
Dave de Basque
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Blake Lenoir wrote: I'm looking for the ones the French took to Canada and into the American Great Lakes. Which types of kale have been used by the French in the 1680s to the 1760s?



There seem to be some people around called food ethnologists or food anthropologists or something like that, who study such things. Our local Slow Food convivium many years ago had a couple of talks with one of these people and it was very interesting apparently, I wasn't able to attend.

But that makes me think, maybe you could find an active Slow Food group somewhere in French-speaking Canada/the Great Lakes area that could give you a lead? Or maybe they've even studied the subject already.

One difficulty might be that as easily as the brassicas cross, and as much as gardeners like to experiment and "improve" their varieties, maybe we really can't have the "same" variety today that the people of that time had, even if we have a direct descendant that people have made an effort to keep pure. 300 years is a lot of generations for even a long-lived brassica.

Could I ask what is the aim you have with wanting this information?
 
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www.richters.com is in Canada and carries Pilgrims Kale. I ordered seeds (not kale) from them a couple years back and was pleased with the results.
 
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Thousand-headed Kale is a fodder kale that was widely grown in Britain before and during WWII. It is called that because it branches and makes many many growing points instead of having all the leaves arise from the top of a single stalk.   It is therefor much more productive of food for both animals and people than normal kale. The height is about 5 ft under normal culture; I imagine that with lots of compost, etc it would be taller. It is hardy here in Northern CA at 2000 ft, with very wet winters, snow, and frost. And it handles our 100-degree summers as well. Some plants perennialize. Cottager's Kale and Marrowstem Kale were grown and used similarly, are similarly huge, and have similar hardiness, but with more of the single-stalk habit.

I think this is the kind of kale that the original story described.  In the old mixed agricultural system, with manure and lime applied to the fields just before the brassica rotation, these kales got huge.

There are many strains of tall palm-like kales from the Channel Islands--walking-stick, Jersey, etc, but some only grow from cuttings, and most really want the climate of an island in the English Channel--cool, frost-free, and moist all year. Where I live, perennial tree collards survive about 3 winters out of 5. The Thousand-headed and Cottager's Kale are much more tolerant of extremes and easier to grow. Marrowstem probably is also, but I haven't grown it. I have grown Tronchuda (Portuguese Kale) and it is the same or smaller as regular garden kale.

Thousand-Headed and Cottager's Kales are both available from Quail Seeds. https://www.quailseeds.com/store/c21/Kale_and_Collards.html
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:The stuff in here about flea beetles makes me recall that Southern Exposure Seed Exchange says " Wormwood repels cabbageworm butterflies, flea beetles, and clothes moths."  It's in their medicinal herbs section.

Might be worth doing it as a chop and drop crop. I got some to try, I have heavy flea beetle pressure. I'll put it near my brassicas!

Greg Martin: Brussel sprouts on trees would look like odd fruits :) I want to see them!
I bought seeds that fascinate me, kale that puts out little heads up the stalk like brussel sprouts!
Autumn Star Kalette - Jung seeds
Very pricey, but one of my splurges for the year.



Pearl, how did the Autumn Star Kalette work out?

Any luck with the wormwood chop and drop? I have issues with cabbageworm butterflies which have all but prevented me from growing brassicas some years.
 
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Baker,s Creek heirloom seeds has both giant kale and walking stick kale, atheist this year.
 
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Kathy Vargo wrote:
atheist this year.




Who, you or Baker Creek?

 
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Luke Krmpotich wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:The stuff in here about flea beetles makes me recall that Southern Exposure Seed Exchange says " Wormwood repels cabbageworm butterflies, flea beetles, and clothes moths."  It's in their medicinal herbs section.

Might be worth doing it as a chop and drop crop. I got some to try, I have heavy flea beetle pressure. I'll put it near my brassicas!

Greg Martin: Brussel sprouts on trees would look like odd fruits :) I want to see them!
I bought seeds that fascinate me, kale that puts out little heads up the stalk like brussel sprouts!
Autumn Star Kalette - Jung seeds
Very pricey, but one of my splurges for the year.



Pearl, how did the Autumn Star Kalette work out?

Any luck with the wormwood chop and drop? I have issues with cabbageworm butterflies which have all but prevented me from growing brassicas some years.



I just saw my name in this post, and read what I said, WHOA! I had forgotten! I didn't try the kalette because I'm having such a bad time with cabbage moths on everything and didn't want to waste expensive seeds.  Thank you for reminding me about the wormwood!  :D  I was going to do a post asking about the moths...  THANK YOU!
No data from me, apologies :D
 
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I read here about Wormwood. I looked up what plant that is. Found out it's a plant I planted at my allotment garden last year! (artemisia absinthium)
I knew that's a very good plant against 'pests'. Did not know it worked against the cabbage white caterpillars too.
 
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A couple of notes about recent posts:
Wormwood, and it's hybrids like the evergreen (evergray in this case) "Powis Castle" do indeed repel pests. However, they can also inhibit germination and growth of nearby plants. Like most powerful plants, they have a lot to offer, but require careful placement and observation. I would be extremely cautious about using them for chop & drop. If I were going to plant them near other crops, I would watch carefully, and not plant near unusual, valuable, or hard-to-replace plants.

As with black walnut, the toxins affect some plants and not others. A simple way to check if plant X is sensitive would be to plant it next to wormwood and in another location similar in every other way. Then you have a basis for comparison. With some plants, using transplants rather than direct-seeding may solve any issues, if the wormwood just inhibits germination. This may be the case with cabbage, etc--I don't know. However, I have heard of mature plants yellowing and anguishing in the vicinity of wormwood, so you might consider it an experiment and watch carefully. Or if you have raised beds, the simple way to have most of the good effects without worry is to plant the wormwood at the base of the bed, not inside it.

I have found that Wormwood repels gophers and does not affect roses, which are very deep-rooted. It is a perfect partnership in almost every way, as the silver foliage sets off the flowers well, and the natural herbicides in the wormwood prevent most weeds from germinating, as well as repelling gophers and deer.  I use a lower-growing, evergray cultivar of wormwood for this.

About "kale-ettes":  I believe that these are patented. If you object to plant patents on moral, political, or economic grounds, you might want to find a substitute, or at least contact the company to ask. There is little transparency about this, but huge numbers of varieties are being removed from the public domain or from use in breeding programs because of privatization in the form of patents. There is an excellent essay on the subject by Frank Morton here. https://www.wildgardenseed.com/articles/plant-patents-on-common-vegetables
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Jamie Chevalier wrote:A couple of notes about recent posts:
Wormwood, and it's hybrids like the evergreen (evergray in this case) "Powis Castle" do indeed repel pests. However, they can also inhibit germination and growth of nearby plants. Like most powerful plants, they have a lot to offer, but require careful placement and observation. I would be extremely cautious about using them for chop & drop. If I were going to plant them near other crops, I would watch carefully, and not plant near unusual, valuable, or hard-to-replace plants.

As with black walnut, the toxins affect some plants and not others. A simple way to check if plant X is sensitive would be to plant it next to wormwood and in another location similar in every other way. Then you have a basis for comparison. With some plants, using transplants rather than direct-seeding may solve any issues, if the wormwood just inhibits germination. This may be the case with cabbage, etc--I don't know. However, I have heard of mature plants yellowing and anguishing in the vicinity of wormwood, so you might consider it an experiment and watch carefully. Or if you have raised beds, the simple way to have most of the good effects without worry is to plant the wormwood at the base of the bed, not inside it.

I have found that Wormwood repels gophers and does not affect roses, which are very deep-rooted. It is a perfect partnership in almost every way, as the silver foliage sets off the flowers well, and the natural herbicides in the wormwood prevent most weeds from germinating, as well as repelling gophers and deer.  I use a lower-growing, evergray cultivar of wormwood for this.
...


Thank you Jamie. So much about this plant I did not yet know! Maybe it was my intuition making me plant it at a corner of my allotment garden plot. Not in any of the vegetable beds. The nearest plants are berry shrubs. And Comfrey (that's growing everywhere along the edge of this plot). And I did not even think of using this worm-wood for chop&drop. There was a large 'branch' broken off of it, I took it with me to repel insects (flies, mosquitos) here at home.
 
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Blake Lenoir wrote:Back again! I'm looking for kale that I can grow in the greenhouse in the winter till I return the new seedlings in the spring. Anybody know of any Midwest heirloom kale?



I don't know if any kales originated in the Midwest; I've never heard of any. But Baltic Red Kale is a Swedish heirloom kale that is extremely cold-hardy. It is one of the parents they use for producing modern hybrid kales such as Redbor that are specifically for overwintering in cold climates. It is a European-type kale, Brassica oleracea.  A Russian-type kale (Brassica napus) with a reputation for cold-hardiness is Western Front. Both available here https://www.quailseeds.com/store/c21/Kale_and_Collards.html and I believe from Adaptive seeds as well. Fedco in Maine used to carry Baltic Red and noted that it overwintered there.
 
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I've been meaning to share a picture of my lovely kale here for a while. I was given a couple of cuttings of kale - one 'Daubentons' did not like my site and just faded away, and the other 'Taunton Deane' is going from strength to strength. Edit: I've had it about 4 years.

Taunton-Deane-giant-perennial-kale-Skye
Taunton-Deane-giant-perennial-kale-Skye


I started with one plant and now have several - it throws out lots of side branches and these can be removed (or the wind often tears them off) and they quickly root  in the ground. I have given several plants away locally and further afield.  The tall plant pictured is about the same height as me and has withstood winds of 80mph with no real issues. They do tend to fall over a bit, but just keep on growing. The stalks get fatter and fatter, they are as thick as my ankle at the base. I find the kale quite tender and will often munch on a bit raw. The dogs really like the kale stalks as a crunchy treat. Kale crisps are also quite successful.

Alison at The backyard larder gives a nice overview here

This one never flowers here although I guess it might in a hotter or drier environment. I like it so much I'm starting to plant windbreaks of it!
 
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Good morning folks. Long time no see. I'm looking for kale from German and Swedish settlers who arrived in America in the 1850s and 1860s for my gardens this year. Are there any types out there that still exist today?
 
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