You need to grow this unusual giant kale in your garden

welcome to Digging in, A column on gardening. If you enjoyed the many fantasies around the seed packet display in the hardware store thinking about starting a farm or your stuff It does If you grow up Can This is for you. Whether you have a lot of land on your hands or just a few square feet of fire escape, every gardening endeavor starts with a pile of garbage and dreams.

Walking on wind-swept limestone on the coasts of northwestern Europe, you may find an ancestral plant in the middle of a crumbling foundation. Unusually B Oleresia, Or wild cabbage, is easy to get rid of, like sticky, sprouting weeds, but thousands of years ago, people began to grow in one of the most widespread crop families on earth.

In the process of artificial selection, early farmers have transformed wild cabbage into an extensive list of species, as dog breeds vary in appearance and behavior. Scattered, bulldog-ish sprouts produce cabbage heads. They headed for the cabbage-curd curves with more swollen clusters. And the worst part eventually was built into floppy-ear, baset-like fibrous nests. Other vegetables in the family include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohrabi, collar greens, and romanco.

But in this common vegetable family, there are many foreign relatives who are not in the grocery store. Recently, I have developed an interest in one species in particular, as it has become increasingly common in genealogical catalogs. This plant, sometimes called the cabbage, beef cabbage, long jack, or jersey cabbage, is one of the strangest members of the wild cabbage family tree. And it’s time to wake up in the garden.

The unique feature of jersey cabbage is its height. Given the right conditions, the plant can grow to a height of 10 feet[10 m]or more, like the Erastus palm tree. Strong and slender, the straw can be collected, dried, and turned into a walking stick, hence the nickname “cabbage.” Of course, greens can be eaten as well as lasagna or cabbage.

The jersey cabbage was grown in the English Channel near the French coast without the harsh winters in Jersey. In the early 19th and early 20th centuries, jersey cabbage grew all over the island, often in the fields of sheep farmers, feeding young, soft leaves and feeding cattle (this symbolizes the shape of a jug cabbage, because it stimulates the plant to grow upwards, not outwardly). ). The descendants were introduced to mainland England and the United States, but they never managed large farms. Finally, the jersey cabbage also fell on the island home in the dark.

Now, thanks to the widespread interest in hereditary plants, anyone can get their hands on jersey cabbage seeds. It blooms in mild climates, but you can grow it anywhere you grow cabbage. The young leaves also taste like cabbage, so you can use them like any other cabbage, smear them with eggs and tomatoes, or put them in a mashed potato. Plant seeds a few weeks before the last frost in spring or one week before the onset of winter in the fall-winter harvest. If you think of that stem form, collect young leaves as they grow, otherwise the plant will return to a scattered and disobedient shape.

Walking stick kale, 50 seeds

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