Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuscan Kale Seeds Are In

The prolonged hot weather we've been having is moving everything in the garden along very quickly this year.  The Tuscan kale plants that I allowed to overwinter have already set their seed and matured it.  This seed, from plants I put in last year, represents three generations of survival here in southeastern PA.  Given the horrendous wet gardening year that was 2009, and our fairly impressive winter storms, this is a good start towards selecting for plants that will tolerate the wide swings that nature brings to this region.

I have enough seed to provide about a dozen of you with a small quantity of seed.  You'll need to let your plants go to seed in the second year if you want a larger quantity of seed.  But that will only mean that your seed is better adapted to your particular location as you save it year to year.  And the seed will be abundant.  This happens to be very easy seed to save.  Simply unfold a square of newspaper under the dry seed pods hanging off the plant, and rub the pods between your hands.  The seeds and some split pods will fall onto the newspaper.  Then you fold up the newspaper, keeping all the seeds in, and open it up somewhere cool and dim so all the insects can crawl away and the seed can completely dry.

Just so you know, this kale goes by several other names, including kale lacinato, dinosaur kale, and cavolo nero. In some parts of the US, if you plant this seed as soon as you receive it, you'll stand a good chance of getting a late fall crop.  Tuscan kale is pretty cold hardy and it takes a serious frost or two to shut it down for the year.  In my zone, 6b, about one half to two-thirds of the plants survive the winter with absolutely no help from me and go on to set seed in the next year.  I love the baby kale leaves I can harvest early in the spring from those plants.

If you're interested, leave a comment with your name and mailing address.  (I know I can legally mail seed to Canada, but I'm unsure about other countries.  If you can point me to references about the legality for your country, I'm game.)  I will delete all comments with personal information as I read them.  If you have something to say about this kale or seed saving other than asking for some seeds, leave a separate comment.  Oh, and whoever it was that wanted to trade some of your Russian kale seeds for some of my Tuscan kale seeds, I'm still interested.

27 comments:

Ken Toney said...
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gardengrl said...
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Trish said...
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Paula Adams Perez said...
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swiggett said...
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Paula Adams Perez said...

Perhaps I missed these on your "bookshelf" but I recently saw them and think you'd enjoy them too:

"The Locavore's Handbook" by Leda Meredith. Her website is http://ledameredith.net/wordpress/
and she is REALLY into gleaning wild foods and food preservation.

"No Impact Man" on Netflix movies. It's a documentary about a NYC family. Pretty out there, but interesting to watch!

P.S. I really like your sidebar tallies (it so fits with my list-making tendencies!!) Hope you don't mind that I admire/copy the idea!

eatclosetohome said...

Oh, please, please! Our favorite kind of kale, and selected for hardiness, by YOU? I would love it. I'll send address by e-mail.

Emily

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wardhouse said...
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Scott M. said...
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Dea-chan said...
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Debbie said...
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gardengrl said...

Kate,
I wanted to say thank-you for the seeds. I received them yesterday. I kept the envelope you mailed them in so this fall I can return the favor by sending you some heirloom speckled butter bean seeds.
Thanks again for your generosity.
Teresia P.

jmdemartin said...

Just a quick thank you so very much! I received the seeds and am still trying to think of a good swap. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kate,

I received the kale seeds today, I am really looking forward to this.

Purple Cherokee tomato seeds are headed your way. Love the little seed packets, too.

barbara in Tennessee

Marie Morton said...

Kate-Thanks so much for the Kale seeds, which arrived today. Much appreciated! Hmmm...I think I can get them in now for a fall crop! Anything in particular you'd be interested in for a swap? I also wanted to let you know that I love your blog. I read it often, along with many of the others you work on/with. I have gleaned so much knowledge and inspiration from those of you who take the time to blog. So thank you primarily for being a "fellow traveler." Best of luck in all your endeavors.

Kate said...

Hi, Marie. Glad you got the seeds. I'm open to just about any seed for a swap, though I am very fond of the brassica family. Root crops or anything unusual too, provided it can grow in my region. But again, no swap is necessary. I have more seeds than I will be able to use next year. I only wanted to express that if someone takes the trouble to send something my way, the gesture is appreciated. Those that look promising, even when there's not enough room will get the deep freeze treatment.

salhoot said...

If you have any supply of kale seed left, I would like to grow them.
My Daddy's favorite veggie was kale.
I love your blog you simply have so much to share. You give all of your knowledge so freely.
Thank you, I will be a frequent visitor as I grow my fall garden.

Kate said...

Salhoot, I can send you some seeds, but you'll need to leave your name and mailing address. Thanks for letting me know you enjoy the blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,

I would love some of your tuscan kale seeds.
My address is:
Dwight Smith
268 Oak St.
Manchester, CT. 06040

thanks