Cool Kale

Among the cool-season vegetables to plant now, kale is one of the most nutritious and handsome. This leafy vegetable native to Europe’s Mediterranean coast and a favorite of WWII Victory gardens is low in calories and high in calcium, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. In the garden, its edible leaves are decorative, whether curled, crinkled or smooth in a variety of greens tinged with blue or violet. Even the so-called ornamental kales, frilly rosettes with green, pink and purple leaves popular for fall and winter color, are edible. Popular named varieties include ‘Toscano,’ purple-stemmed ‘Red Russian,’ Italian heirloom ‘Lacinato,’ and the purple-leaved ‘Red Bor.’ A good selection is at Johnny’s Selected Seeds (www.johnnyseeds.com). Grow kale in sun or part shade and provide moderate water.

 

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