Baby Kale

I enjoy seeing the emerging seed-leaves of any plant, when the chlorophyll is on the verge of appearing in response to light, displacing the pale yellow initial color. A seed’s sprouting is triggered by what it considers to be appropriate levels of temperature and moisture.

I planted some kale seeds about a week ago and yesterday some of them made their first tentative forays into the sunlit atmosphere. At first the sprouts are bent over as if exhausted by the effort, but their instinctive craving for light will soon straighten them up. Seedlings are so vulnerable; it doesn’t take much to discourage them to the point of wilting and death. Lack of moisture, a passing insect or rabbit, or too much moisture will sound their death knells.

Cultivated plants are tender when young and need to be babied along, unlike wild plants which are accustomed to going it alone.

Here are those kale sprouts. It’s hard to believe that within a couple of months they will be masses of dark-green curly leaves, ready to brave the first frosts. Kale tastes so much better after a frost or two. I use the leaves in stir-fries and soups. The excess ends up in the freezer.

Of course this presupposes that I remember to water them and fence them off from the verminous rabbits!

A day later. The babies will be spending this Saturday out on my back porch railing. They’re happy, as there is sun but no wind. Notice how the chlorophyll green evidently manifested itself as the sun rose while I was inside sleeping.

Larry

4 comments on “Baby Kale

  1. bev says:

    I love young vegetables. Beans and peas may be my favorites – that stage where the little hoop pops up from the soil and begins to unbend with the green seed halves and the first leaves. So much promise of what is to come.

    Kale is good in salads, sliced very thin, especially with some kind of warm oil and vinegar dressing. There is a lot in my garden this year, but I will not be here to harvest any after the frost. By then, I will be on the road to somewhere or other.

  2. Karen says:

    Thanks. I enjoyed reading every word of the whole.

  3. Larry says:

    Thanks, Bev and Karen! This morning I added a photo I shot 18 hours after the first one.

  4. Karen says:

    Exciting to watch the unfolding. 🙂

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