Thursday, March 3, 2016
A Sea (Kale) Odyssey
Imagine: this tiny corky seed, designed to bob along on the waves crashing against a rocky coastline, will (with any luck and good germination) grow, one day, to become a two-to-three foot giant edible plant. Ah, the humble sea kale. Eat its leaves, the tender new shoots blanched under a bucket, the flower buds that taste of broccoli, the root that can be boiled and mashed. It's the Superman of the brassicae family. Right now, the seeds--which took me three years to acquire--have been refrigerated, soaked, and filed with an emery board. After all those ministrations, they've been plunged into damp compost and closeted in the Germination Station to bask in the 70 degree heat and (with a little luck) germinate in the next few days.
Sea kale has notoriously sketchy germination, so fingers crossed at least half those seeds will pop and develop into hardy little plants. Once the soil defrosts outside, I'll be digging over the spare bed in the Perennial Veg Corner, adding sand and grit, and a wee bit of compost, and settling in these prehistoric vegetables for a long seven-to-ten year lifespan. I think I'll mulch with rock, too, to mimic their natural seaside habitat. Well, mimic as much as one can mimic the Atlantic coastline in this particular corner of Wisconsin, that is. It's all relative...and hardy plants don't much care. Sun, rain and a bit of compost and all is well in their world. Lucky ducks.