Organic Red Russian Kale - Brassica oleracea
This organic kale originated from Siberia, also known as Siberian Kale was brought to Canada by Russian traders in the mid 1880’s. Also commonly known as Ragged Jack, a name that it was given after being mentioned in the illustrated book, The Vegetable Garden by Vilmorin-Andrieux.
This vibrant vegetable not only brings a beautiful array of color with purple-veined, bluish-green accented with purple-red leaves, but also offers a most tender and sweet taste to the palate. Known to be sturdier than other kales, this refined strain, not commonly found is high in beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, potassium, high in antioxidants, is an anti-inflammatory and rich in calcium.
This ancient cultivar has flat and frilly shaped leaves resembling those of oak leaves and grows vigorous plants that growing up to 18 – 36” in height, able to sustain -10 °F temperatures and known to naturally be pest resistant. This heirloom brassica is known to offer additional flavor to the leaves when they are harvested while still tender and small. This versatile vegetable stores really well when dipped in cold water prior to refrigerating or to extend its life. It is perfect in sauces, soups, stir-fry or eaten raw or cooked and even frozen. Its tender nature makes it a perfect green in salads as well. This a hardy perennial is easy to grow and has a harvesting cycle is about 50-60 days from transplant.
- Sun: Full- Partial
- Indoors: 6-8 weeks before last frost
- Direct Sow: When soil is workable
- Seed Count: 250
- Days to Maturity: 50-60
- Plant Size: 12"-36"
Mulch at base. Grows best in cooler weather, hardy to -10 degrees F. Continual harvest promotes growth. Carefully tear back steams close to junction.
If starting seeds indoors, it is key that your new starts be hardened off. This is a process that requires taking them outside during the day, for a period of time, before they are planted. This acclimates your seedlings to the outside world, meaning the elements like the wind and sun. We do it for several weeks to a month as this strengthens their stems and overall plant structure.
- Start for a short period of time initially, then graduate to more time each day
- One week minimum is recommended
- Bring them inside in the early evening and overnight
- Keep an eye on them and constantly keep them moist. Make sure they have not blown over.