Sea kale Crambe maritima is sometimes referred to as the King of the Vegetables (Queen is perhaps more fitting!) . This is partly due to the fact that it was in the past cultivated in heated greenhouses for nobility in the UK for Christmas! Maybe not the King, it is certainly an aristocrat and the easiest perennial brassica in cold climates (along wtih even hardier Crambe cordifolia) as it is hardier than perennial kales as it resprouts from the roots every spring and can easily be covered by a mulch of leaves or suchlike in colder climates. I do this every autumn just in case we have a very cold winter (I have experienced plants to resprout from deep roots when the surface roots have been killed in winter). I would normally take off the leaf mulch early April, but this winter it’s been so mild I removed it a few days ago and the plant had already put out delicious sprouts…I’ve been snacking on them! My oldest sea kale is approaching 40 years old, but hasn’t appeared yet (oldies sleep longer I guess!). Much more about Sea Kale in my book Around the World in 80 plants or by searching here: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?s=sea+kale
They are also beautiful. The pictures show the cultivar Lily White which is only about 8 years old.
Continuing my series of veggies harvested from the garden. this time used in a baccalao with parsnip (pastinakk), potato (potet), bulb onions .(kepaløk), Jerusalem artichokes (jordskokk), (bought) organic tomatoes and chili. Greens used from the garden: Urtcia dioica (nettles/brennesle) Aegopodium podograria (ground elder/skvallerkål) Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach/stjernemelde) Rumex patientia (patience dock/hagesyre) Taraxacum officinale dandichokes (dandelion /løvetann) Ficaria verna (lesser celandine/vårkål) Allium sativum shoots (garlic/hvitløk)
I’d potted up some Tradescantia ohiensis shoots in the autumn as I’d planned to offer a few roots to members of the Norwegian Seed Savers’ (KVANN) perennial vegetable guild though our autumn catalogue. Well, I lost them….and relocated them this evening as the shoots had grown quite long in the dark cellar, so I cut them to eat this evening:
They have a pleasant mild taste. One of the 80 in my book Around the World in 80 plants:
A much warmer winter than normal and I returned home to well developed blanched dandelion shoots in the cellar together with horseradish shoots and the sweet cicely shoots (Myrrhis odorata) had also germinated en masse! This post shows the dandelion roots being dug and planted at the end of November: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=23997
The first winter shoots were harvested from the cellar today. It is almost totally dark in the cellar and currently about +6C. The blanched shoots in the picture are (from L to R) dandelions (løvetann), perennial kales (flerårige kål) and catalogna chicory (sikkori). Otherwise you can see Korean celery (Dystaenia takesimana), perennial celery / fool’s watercress (Apium nodiflorum), turnip (nepe) , carrot (gulrot) and lemon balm (sitronmelisse).
The salad was decorated with Begonia flowers from the living room!
I transplanted a 3 year old pot grown Hablitzia plant yesterday and this video shows the many replacement shoots ready to grow quickly if the main shoots are harvested or grazed, presumably an anti-grazing strategy which we can use to our advantage!