Kale Going to Seed and Amie in the Garden

The four vigorous kale plants that survived the winter in the hoop house are bolting. I am daily harvesting three of them, letting the biggest one going to seed for saving. Since all four plants are of the same kind, and there are no other brassicas going to seed within a mile, there is no need to be concerned about cross-pollination and seed that is not true. I wish Risa had a good search option on her blog, Stony Run Farm, because I remember (correctly?) an entry on how many seeds one kale plant can yield.

Kale is really one of our favorites, especially when overwintered, because then it is sweeter, subtler in taste.  I chop up the stems and saute them first, then add the leaves and saute till they turn that very bright green. Salt and pepper and you have a tasty, healthy side dish.

I am already harvesting seed from the Claytonia (Claytonia perfoliata, Miner’s lettuce, Winter Purslane, Spring Beauty, or Indian lettuce), which is  of the Portulacaceae family. The picture was taken on a cloudy moment: click to see the long, thin seeds at the end of the stems.

The Claytonia bloomed at the same time as the Mache (Valerianella  locusta, Corn Salad, Lamb’s Lettuce or Lamb’s Tongue) and the Minutina (Plantago coronopus,  Buckshorn Plaintain, or Erba Stella). This is hopefully not of concern because they all belong to different families (Mache to the Valerian family and Minutina to the Plantain family) so they (probably) don’t cross-pollinate.

On the other side, I’ve sowed, outside, three kinds of carrots, lots of marigolds, borage and calendula all over, and more summer lettuce mix. That’s a lot of beds to keep moist now that my rain barrel is empty. Running to the kitchen to fill my small watering can with filtered tap water is a nuisance, but good exercise.

Amie has been busy in the garden too. I don’t mention her help and advice as often as I should. It is so much fun to observe her in the garden, singing to herself as her little hands plants seeds, stumbling as she lugs the heavy watering can, but mostly just skipping and dancing. It is at such moments that I think: what an enchanted life we have!

Here she is with the 20 sunflowers she just sowed, and then again with all of “her” flowers (all flowers) in the hoop house:

The Morning Glory, Pink Rose Mallow, Sweet Pea and Zinnias all germinated.

(Yes, that’s pajamas. In the afternoon. Hey, it’s the holiday week, and the pajamas were destined for the laundry anyway.)

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2 Comments

  1. I so enjoy hearing about Amie in the garden. I think she must be a few years older than my Peter, so it is like a little taste of what is to come for us.

    Glad the hoophouse is producing well. I see you’re growing a lot of the green mentioned in the Coleman book…I hope to have some low tunnels this fall to try some winter greens.

  2. I enjoy hearing about Amie too. Especially because my children are grown now and it’s too early for grandchildren. There’s something about a child’s wonder for our natural world that is refreshing and inspirational.

    My turnips and broccoli are seeding. I really need to add kale to my fall list as I think it would overwinter very well here.

    Your rain barrel setup looks great too!

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