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Hungry? Plant Kale.

Leafy greens are this gardener’s dream – I eat them at practically every meal, and they are so easy to grow! Plus, if you harvest the other leaves instead of the whole plant, they keep producing for months and months in mild weather…

This “tree” (topping 6′ before we finally cut it down) gave us delicious leafy kale for about 6 months, and as we harvested the outer leaves it just kept growing taller and taller. We finally decided to put it entirely since it was shading half the garden and was starting to bolt, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to show how we harvest our greens and prep them for meals. You can apply this to chard, collards, and mustard-, beet-, and turnip-greens too…

Step 1: pull off the outer leaves (or in our case, yank the entire plant from the ground)

Step 2: WASH! We have a lots of aphids, tiny spiders and cabbage butterfly eggs in our garden, so I hand wash every single leaf with cold water, scrubbing every nook and cranny. (Note: with some greens, if they get a lot of sun they can develop a white film on them to protect them from burning – similar to the film on apples and grapes – but this washes right off). Sometimes I even use a scrub brush like the purple one you see pictured:

Next I take the wet leaves to the cutting board and cut them into manageable pieces, then put them in the salad spinner (greatest invention EVER) and fill it with water:

 

After several agitations with my hands and a few rinses/spins, the greens are ready to be cooked! You can also seal them in a tupperware or ziplock with a dry paper towel for several days.

Note: thicker-leafed greens last longer in the fridge than thin-leafed ones…

For recipe ideas, check out:
Simple Sauteed Greens
Kale Pizza

Enjoy! 🙂