Tag Archive perennial kale

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Cabbage Experiment (Mixed Results So Far), Potato Onions and Brassica Cuttings

I’ve spent quite a bit of time (nearly a year now) on one of my favourite experiments. According to Bill Mollison (one of the two founders of permaculture) you can grow a cabbage, chop its head off, watch 4 or 5 new small cabbage heads appear where the main one once was and then remove them, bung them in the soil and grow new cabbages. Well, I set about confirming this (what appears to be a little dodgy) information by trying it out, in reality, in my back garden. I choppped the heads off two of my greyhound cabbages, waited for multiple small ones to regrow and removed them carefully using my thumbnail to get in right up against the main stalk of the plant. From previous experience taking cuttings from perennial kales & kailaan I know it is at this point that roots will grow, where the cutting meets the main stalk. Read More

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Allotment Update 24/3/14

Leeks, Perennial Leeks, Elephant GarlicThis is my first allotment update of the year. Please don’t judge it by its looks as it’s early days. My overwintering food – perennial kales, leeks and perennial leeks – are providing me with lots of food and though I want to preserve the perennial kales (in place) the leeks I want to lift so I can grow new things in the space, most probably peas or broad beans. Some of the leeks I am going to leave where they are even though they will go to seed in, probably, May. I want to save seed and also collect the “king pods” which form at the base of bolting leeks. Read More

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Be Careful What You Wish For…

Last time I expressed a little boredom with my ongoing 4 year experiment in keeping a Dwarf Green Curled Kale alive long past its allotted 2 years (as a brassica). Well, the bloody thing was battered by a moderately strong wind and broke in two. It is still alive, just much smaller than it was. This might be serendipitous as I didn’t have the courage to dig it up after so long nurturing it, and this event has given me the chance to back out gracefully. But it may not be the end for our brave curly kale – or at least not its genes. I am going to take a cutting and see whether or not regrowing it each year has better results.  Read More

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Happy 4th Birthday “Dwarf” Green Curly Kale Plus Asturian Tree Cabbage “Broccolis”

Asturian Tree CabbagePicked some “broccoli” from the allotment and fried it with an egg. It was nice but it wasn’t strictly speaking a broccoli but the flowering shoot of an Asturian Tree Cabbage which is both good looking and tasty. It is also a perennial and even though it is starting to flower is not showing any of the smaller leaves normally found on flowering brassicas. Like many brassicas it can be kept alive for more than two years by removing all the flowering shoots but the flowering shoots of the Asturian Tree Cabbage are much larger than most brassicas that are not broccolis. I am growing the ATC for its thick cabbage like leaves (though it doesn’t form a head) and the good quality flowering shoots are a real surprise to me. There are other smaller side shoots so I hope to get lots more as the spring progresses. Read More

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‘Sallets’ – Perennial Salads [updated 3/4/14]

I’ve been reading John Evelyn’s “A Discourse on Sallets” and being a retro-romantic reactionary I found it all very fascinating. Reading it I was reminded that sallet might be making a comeback as a  permaculture term for perennial salad plants. It is a middle (read old) English spelling for salad. Many of the herbs and leaves in Evelyn’s book are familiar (lettuce, parsley, borage) others almost forgotten (skirret, good king henry). But not to Permaculturists who are familiar with such plants as skirret and good king henry because they are perennial edibles. Not all perennial edibles are all that great, however. Martin Crawford in his “Creating a Forest Garden” recommends young lime leaves (lime as in linden tree) in salads, which as much as I respect the really great research Martin has done, are revolting. So here are my selections for a perennial salad that actually taste nice and also can be grown perennially. Read More

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A Talk by Pennard Plants

I got my daubenton kale plants from a nursery near Shepton Mallet called Pennard Plants. Daubenton is very important to me because it is a well supported perennial kale that never flowers. Well when I saw a notice up saying there was going to be a talk by Pennard Plants in Bath I was excited and hoped there would be some discussion on perennial vegetables. It couldn’t have gone better for me. Read More

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Alliums, perennial brassicas, good weather, yields and adaptability

I have to be adaptable, slugs ensure this by setting my plants back, so I roll with the punches and change plans for the garden quickly and decisively. The good weather is making any old pot plant leap into action the moment I plant it. It’s not just the slugs and snails either, it is the caterpillars that are really doing my head in, and they are now well and truly in season. I have three types of non-flowering perennial kale (Daubenton, Taunton Dean and Ewiger Kohl), four types of flowering perennial brassica (Kailaan, Wild Cabbage, Nine Star Perennial Broccoli and “9 ans Portugese Couve”) and 2 types of traditional biennial brassica (a nice hispi type cabbage and a bog standard purple sprouting broccoli) which I am attempting to reproduce vegetatively. All of these brassicas are getting slaughtered by the cabbage butterflies, but I won’t have a net in the back garden (I use nets on the allotment) for aesthetic reasons. If the damage gets worse I may change my mind. Read More

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