The History of Kale

Brassica Oleracea

By now all of us know the famous Kale. Nutritious, inexpensive, and one of the hardiest plants we can grow. Kale, which is the oldest ancestor of the cabbage, broccoli, and kohlrabi, is always a great addition to the kitchen.

So, since we've all seen it, and probably eaten it, where did this super-plant come from?

Around 2,000 years ago people of the Mediterranean began domesticating wild varieties of Kale. The Greeks were the first to record this, and later the Romans began to breed varieties of what may have been early forms of broccoli, cabbage, and kohlrabi. As the Romans expanded their empire they took Kale with them. It became a staple for countrymen throughout Europe, but through the selective breeding of tender inner leaves  the cabbage became the vegetable of choice by Medieval times. Kale regained popularity during the 1800's in Scotland. At this time every household had a kailyard, the kitchens had kailpots, and kail was the word used for dinner. By then Kale had been in the Americas for over a hundred years, but was mostly grown for fodder and forage.

But Kale has been back for awhile and is called a "superfood", as it should be. Both Kale and Collards are easy to grow in warm and cold climates, and are incredibly beneficial to our health. So grow some Kale, eat some Kale, its good for us all.

This winter the farm will grow both Kale and Collards (which are essentially the same plant) and as the snow falls we will continue to have an abundance of greens.