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What do folks know about growing Sea Kale?

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What do folks know about growing Sea Kale?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/7/2011, 3:40 pm

I'm planting Sea Kale seeds from Nichols Garden Seeds today, though I've never even seen a plant. Any information would be appreciated.
Nonna, St. Helens, Orr

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Re: What do folks know about growing Sea Kale?

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/7/2011, 4:24 pm

glad you\'re here Nonna,
So glad to have another Oregonian here on the SFG Forum. We have a couple of forum members in the Portland area.

My name is Furbalsmom, and I am your regional host for the Pacific North West. I live on the northern part of the Southern Coast and we stay cool all summer long. Our average August highs are in the mid-60's and 70's. Makes gardening a challange if you want warm weather plants such as eggplants, tomatoes and peppers, but cool season crops seem to do well here.

Please feel free to ask questions and if you have experience or knowledge about solutions for another members questions or problems, please just jump right in and help us out. By the way, we I love you pictures.

I did a bit of googling for information about Sea Kale. I have never seen or heard of Sea Kale before today and I have no personal knowledge of the growth habits and uses of this veggie. According to the various sites I looked at, it is found to be hardy in Maritime areas. Not common in the US as most find it labor intensive, apparently it is used as a vegetable, by harvesting new shoots similar to aspargus. Here the info differs between sites. Some sites say the plants should be blanched by covering with a pot or basket, or the shoots are too bitter to eat. Others say it is ok to harvest, without blanching the plant, then just cook the new shoots like greens. Hope you will let us know.
It also appears to be a long lived perrenial, and if you are growing from seed, there won't be any harvest until the second year.
All that said, I agree that it is something interesting to try. Please be sure to keep us updated on growing the sea kale.
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What do folks know about Sea Kale

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/7/2011, 5:05 pm

Thank you Furbalsmom (bet you have a cat!). Believe I found some of the sites you found for Sea Kale, especially the ones that recommended putting a basket over the new shoots in the spring to "blanch" them. Yes, that'd be labor intensive for a short-term harvest, but Nichols indicates the young leaves are tasty used like other members of the cabbage family. Having said that, I wonder if it's anything like Tuscan "dragon" kale (which I'm very fond of)? Whatever it's like, I've planted six seeds. BTW, take care in researching sea kale on European sites; yesterday my computer went into a panic saying a worm/virus was trying to access my drive. Fortunately, AGV snatched it and tossed it into the virus vault--keep your virus protection up to date. Best wishes, Nonna

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