Monday, 20 December 2010

In praise of kale

Kale, Brassica oleracea, is a seriously good versatile crop. It comes in lots of different leaf shapes, colours and textures, from the wonderfully indented, dark and tasty Calvo Nero/Nero di Tosacno (see left) to the lovely purple-veined and vigorous Red Russian and the very green and curly Pentland Brig.

It tolerates a lot of cold, yet grows fast in the summer too. Growers like it particularly because it keeps producing leaves up the stem. You just pick the older leaves lower down, leaving the newer younger leaves to carry on growing. It's not uncommon for a kale plant to be still cropping 8 months after the first picking!

There are fewer more nutritious crops than Brassicas. They contain a range of vitamins (E and B complexes), carotenes, vitamin C and some protein.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snow comes to Scilly

So the weather has changed from mild and stormy to cold, cold, cold. Of
course the entire country is pretty frozen but it's unusual to get snow
on Scilly that settles.

Today it snowed and settled, though appears to be slushy and will melt
without too much encouragement. Nonetheless it's covered all the fields,
leaving me finding it difficult to locate those cabbage, kale and
beetroot that I need to find to pick tomorrow!