Grower Profile: Nadine’s Monster Kale

Many of you may have seen Nadine’s post about her monster kale earlier in the week.  In one year she grew 6 plants in raised beds that were so prolific that they are now taller than her.  There’s no wonder she always had mountains of kale to swap at previous events. There have been many enquiries about what her secret is, so here she kindly shares some growing tips.

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Above: Nadine with one of her kale ‘trees’ and the 6 small plants one year ago.

The kale varieties that Nadine chose to grow were Tuscan and Red Russian. She admits that even out of season the kale just continued to grow and produce with little effort, but she has obviously been doing something right.

Here are a few of her tips:

  • Use good soil – ours has lots of worms.
  • We throw our egg shells and banana skins all over the garden.
  • Mulch with mushroom compost.
  • We haven’t had many problems with pests but our beds are netted.  Stakes have been continually added to increase the height as the Kale has grown.  Surprisingly, those plants that grew straight managed to support themselves.

But what to do with all that kale, apart from swapping it?  Nadine says that there are only so many Kale chips that her family can consume.  She has also frozen batches into cubes for a later date. Other members have suggested adding it to juices or stir fries.

Nadine buys her mushroom compost direct from a mushroom farm located at 496 Windsor rd, Vineyard. She says that they have pallets and pallets of bagged compost on the property, and that it is amazing stuff, though it makes for a very stinky drive home!  Each 20kg bag costs $1.50 via an honesty box system.


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