While goofing about on TikTok last night, I was shown a clip about perennial kale. I’ve grown kale as an annual, but had no idea there was a perennial variety that produces leaves throughout the year – multiple years, in fact. We eat a lot of kale, so I immediately began searching for seeds so I could grow this magical new discovery.
It turns out that perennial kale seeds are difficult to find and most plants come from cuttings of mature plants. After a quick search, I came across Incredible Vegetables, a website dedicated to the cultivation and promotion of perennial vegetables. Not only did they offer Taunton Deane perennial kale, they also have a Purple Tree Collard perennial brassica. I’ve pre-ordered both and am now redrawing my kitchen garden plan to accommodate them.
These plants can last up to 10 years and are very easy to propagate. They’re also hardy up to about -10C. I understand they’re resistant to pests, too. A lifetime of fuss-free greens from the garden from a couple of mama plants? Yes, please!
I’ve never managed to overwinter kale, so the idea of fresh leaves from the garden during the colder months is quite exciting. I’m also delighted to have a source for other perennial vegetables and look forward to trying out new varieties. I may get the hang of this permaculture thing yet.