Kale Monster

It has happened again.  With the best intentions, my wife has planted some kale in our garden.  Sure, it’ll provide some leafy green now and again.  You might think of the neat bundle of kale you find in the produce department, a wedding bouquet-sized cluster of greens with a tight cluster of stems, all wrapped up with a twist tie.  Neat, healthy, manageable.  Now shield your eyes from the monstrosity taking over our front garden:

Kale wide

This is some kind of tree kale.  Or maybe it was colony kale, or civilization kale.  Whatever strain, it is virulent and unstoppable.  Heat waves and lack of water make it stronger, frost and soggy ground just encourages it.  During winter it has redoubled in size.  The sheer biomass of this thing is probably causing localized aquifer draining and has raised the oxygen levels in our neighborhood.  If I wasn’t afraid, I could set a chair in front of this plant and watch it grow.  Do you think this is hyperbole?  Do you think I exaggerate?  Holy hell, look at this two-foot long leaf!

Kale closeup


Writer, architect, father, husband.

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11 comments on “Kale Monster
  1. the tsuneyoshi says:

    what color is the flower?how tall is this kale?

    • It had very small white flowers and right now the plant is about 5′ tall. Still producing humongous leaves though the undersides are coated with grey mites which don’t seem to affect growth or health of the plant.

      • the tsuneyoshi says:

        i grow the same kale in japan for 5 years.it is called couve galega in portugal.it grows up to 6 feet.some people say 7 feet.but i have never experienced such a big one.if it is not galega kale.it must be a kale from portugal.for they have white flowers.collards have yellow flowers.

        • How have you been using it in recipes? My wife wants to know and though our chickens like it, it seems we could get some good dishes from it with the right recipe.

          • the tsuneyoshi says:

            the taste is not good.i drink green juice.portugal people make a soup.but for us it is too tough.they may use only soft younger leaves.my hens love the leaves too.

          • the tsuneyoshi says:

            hi!peter i wonder where you got this seeds.it is not easy to get them in usa.and i wonder if it is a galega.it is a little weaker for frost than ordinary kales in usa.usually first time they grow in a new country like my country which is cold in winter,they are killed by frost.so which state do you live in?

          • Evans says:

            am from Kenya and kales is a everyday food for most people because its very cheap and easy to cook.

  2. I think it is couve galega, brassica oleracea. My wife found the seeds online. I’m in Southern California so even frost is rare. Here’s where you can get seeds: http://www.growitalian.com/cart.php?suggest=52ec81481c158

    • the tsuneyoshi says:

      i got seeds from here too.i got them from portugal also.but the seeds you got are better than seeds from portugal.i experimented many seeds from many sources.this online is one of best.you are lucky.this plant is a treasure of mankind.for it does not contain oxalic acid like collards.if you drink it everyday,you will become healthier.it is not collards.

      • Ours have a hug infestation of small grey mites on the undersides of the leaves, which don’t seem to affect the health of the plant, but it has kept us, along with the toughness of the leaves, from eating it. Maybe we can get some of the benefit through the chickens eating it and then we eat the eggs. That’s wishful thinking.

        • the tsuneyoshi says:

          you know how gmo foods are made.i graduated from an american university over 30 years ago.i have been drinking kale juice for 20 years.it detoxifies poisons.but i know americans can not stand the taste.i was very thankful for american friends.so i wrote this information.

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  1. […] can’t say I’m sad to see it go.  The massive kale and collard green plants in our garden have gone to flower and having grown to umbrella size, […]

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