The Great Kale Giveaway

I planted a vegetable garden for the first time this spring. I am actually surprised at how little I know about gardening. My mom usually had a garden in the summer when I was growing up.  I would have thought something would have sunk in via osmosis. And I loved helping my grandfather in his huge garden though, come to think of it, my job was usually limited to the finding and killing of slugs. 

I’m considering this my starter garden.  Some things are growing nicely like the tomatoes and eggplant.


Other things…not so much.  The pole beans are a hot mess.  I grossly underestimated the amount of poles needed. I planted three seedlings per pole and it has become clear to me that I should have only planted one. I’m sure that this is common knowledge that I have somehow missed. The poor beans are just grabbing onto anything around them, including each other,  leaving this tangled mess on the ground with one lucky plant flourishing up the pole. I also misjudged the poles and trellises needed for some other plants as well. I tried to remedy this as they were growing  but I think it was too little, too late. You can see my efforts in the photo below:


Are those ski poles, you ask? Why yes! Is that an upside-down clothes hamper frame?? Indeed it is! Kudos to my dad for making some trellis-like-things for me out of scrap steel from his shop. But clearly, it looks ridiculous. I mean, it looks like I just dumped a bunch of trash on it. Or it looks like some sort of art installation commenting on a post-industrial green revolution.

The one vegetable that is growing at a rate that I can not handle is the kale.

all this could be yours!!

all this could be yours!!

Kale kale kale. I’ve been eating it nearly every day for weeks trying to put it into everything. I never really ate kale all that much before and I’m not that sure what to do with it. Honestly, I grew it because when I saw Anthony Bourdain’s show on Greece he talked about how all the greens in the Greek diet make them some of the healthiest people in the world. Well, I wanted to become a healthy, strong Grecian so I thought I’d try my hand at kale. I’m finding it’s one of the heartiest, easiest plants to grow. Here’s where you come in. The first person to comment with a recipe incorporating kale will win some kale fresh from my garden. I will mail it to you. Don’t worry, when it’s fresh off the plant it stays good for quite a while. If no one has a kale recipe then the first person to comment with the word ‘kale’ will win. Just type in ‘K-A-L-E’. Please? Pretty please?? And, mom, if you’re the only one reading well then, I will just hand some to you tomorrow.

Also, if anyone has any gardening tips I would love to hear them. Including what grows well in this area and when to plant it. I’m hoping to have a garden every year. And I’m hoping this will be the only one with ski poles.


8 thoughts on “The Great Kale Giveaway

  1. I love Kale! Flying Saucer (Chicago) has great Kale — with kind of a sesame soy thing going on with it.

    I tried to recreate it recently and I think it turned out pretty well. I just braised it in some sesame oil, ginger oil, water, ginger soy sauce… I think that’s it. It turns out a little different every time, but it’s goooood either way.

    I don’t know anything about gardening either and planted my first this year. Half is weeds and flowers and dirt and the other half is gross green bean plants (I got one serving out of them) tomatoes (success!) and I have three peppers growing right now.

    Maybe we need to read a book or something for next year…

  2. read a book?! that sounds hard…

    thanks for the recipes, guys. if you want some kale just send me your addresses! or, kirsten, i could just hand some to you at the wab or something. 🙂

  3. I’d love to come grab some! If you’re every in Ferndale during the day, I’ve got an open front porch. We need to get H & J here for some beers. Soon.

    I get home around 7 every night if you want me to come by so you can unload some Kale! (Which is great in pretty much every soup too… )

  4. Ode to Kale
    oh you hot green mess
    chock full of folic acid
    in my mouth you go

    I did big tomatoes, little cherry tomatoes and brocolli this year. the brocolli pretty much laughed at me out loud for planting it when i did – i didn’t know it was a cold weather fruit. it looked like it had klinefelter’s syndrome. the cherries are awesome, and the big tomatoes’ leaves are turning yellow! I think they might be malnourished.

    it’s an emotional roller coaster, this gardening thing!

  5. Try a soup like Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, it is awesome:

    Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

    Makes: 6-8 servings

    * 1 lb ground Italian sausage
    * 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
    * 1 large diced white onion
    * 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
    * 2 tsp garlic puree
    * 10 cups water
    * 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
    * 1 cup heavy cream
    * 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
    * ¼ of a bunch of kale

    1. Saute Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
    2. In the same pan, saute bacon, onions and garlic for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
    3. Mix together the chicken bouillon and water, then add it to the onions, bacon and garlic. Cook until boiling.
    4. Add potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
    5. Add heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated.
    6. Stir in the sausage.
    7. Add kale just before serving. Delicious!

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