Fresh Tastes from the Garden- Tuscan Kale

Jump on the kale bandwagon!

Tuscan kale, like all kale, is so, so good for you: a cup provides more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamins K and A, and 88 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. Like other members of the Brassica family such as cabbage, collards and brussel sprouts, kale is a rich source of organic sulfur compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention. And...  It's yummy!!!

In cool-summer climates, kale is started in the early spring; however, plants actually love a little frost, so don't be afraid to start early. We grow it most of the year. It can be sown directly into the garden, and it is best to sow the seeds yourself.  Make sure you end up with plants that are spaced a little more than a foot apart, and preferably staggered from one row to the next.

Kale is a productive plant for any garden and is easy to grow.  In general, kale likes rich soil and plenty of sun.  It does best with moderate, consistent moisture and a steady supply of nutrients, like kelp and fish emulsion . This plant loves the cold and needs no frost protection where we live.

As for pests in our garden, aphids have been the greatest challenge. Trim off heavily infested leaves and make a regular habit of spraying plants (including undersides of leaves) with a forceful jet of water. This will discourage the aphids. You can also use organic insecticidal soaps or neem oil.  It's a productive plant for the small garden


So easy to grow, everyone should grow it!


Asian Kale-slaw 

  • 10 leaves of Tuscan or Dinosaur kale, stems removed, rolled and cut into slices "chiffonade" 
  • 3 carrots grated
  • 1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced "julienned"  


Whisk together mayo, rice vinegar, lime juice and sweet chili sauce.  Add scallions, ginger, cilantro, basil and mint.  Add 1/2 the dressing to the kale, carrots, and red bell pepper mixture and toss to coat. You can add more dressing if you like or save remainder for another time.

Dressing for the slaw

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tsp sweet chili sauce
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil rolled up and sliced
  • 1 tbsp mint rolled up and sliced

Kale is so versatile it can be added to soups, used in salads, mixed into a quiche, added to a sauté, roasted and the list goes on and on. So add a little Kale to everything!