Kale, Kale, and More Kale

There you go.  I said it.  Kale.  Once totally foreign to me, it is a very welcome vegetable in our food garden.

We have tonnes of it because Kim insisted that I plant some more seedlings after the others had grown very large.  I did what I was told of course :-) and put in another six Kale seedlings.  We have at least a dozen very large Kale bushes in the front garden bed right now.

In fact, we have so much of the stuff, we are scouring the net for recipes to use it all up.

Kim picked a bowl of flower heads yesterday to cook as sprouting broccoli, and a swag of leaves for dinner.

Kale flower heads

Kale flower heads

We steam these flower heads.  They are simply delicious, and so glad that we tried them, because the sprouting broccoli went to seed about four weeks ago.  Not only do we love it, Kim said she had to fight off the swarm of bees just to get at them.  They love the flowers too.

The leaves are so colourful, from whites, purples, light green, to dark greens, the leaves are all of various shapes, some obviously thicker in texture than others.


We strip out the tough centre vein and just used the leaves shredded in most meals.

So what was for dinner.  Well, Kim cooked up Spicy Kale and Garlic Spaghetti.  It was delicious, nutritious, and full of flavour.  I’m talking amazing flavour.

I will share a few more Kale recipes this week.  Tomorrow night I am cooking Bean soup with Kale and rustic garlic bread.  We are looking forward to that one, however I think I will spice it up a bit and modify the recipe that I found.  If it turns out okay, I will post it on the blog.

We like Kale so much that we will definitely plant these cultivars again next year.

Kale plants

Even though the punnet of seedlings were labeled as ornamentals, there is no reason why you cannot eat this amazing Brassica.  We certainly have, and will be for the next few weeks.  These colourful varieties are only a few of the many different types of kale that you can grow.

The great thing about Kale is that when it goes to seed, it is still very edible.  The leaves don’t toughen like broccoli or cabbages do, or goes woody like cauliflower.  It is just a great all-rounder.

So do yourself a favour, and get some kale in the ground when you have your cooler season.  Super food or not, it is a great vegetable to have in your food garden.

Oh, and the Kale chips are to die for.  We can’t get enough of those either!

Who else planted and ate Kale this season.  Was it your first time, and what amazing meals did you use it in?


TGoG Podcast 087 – Making Fertilizers at Home

Listen to the Episode Below (00:32:49)
Coffee grounds - making fertilizers at home

Coffee grounds – making fertilizer at home

Did you know that you can make at least seven effective fertilizers in your very own backyard?  Let me step you through the process of making fertilizers at home.  Here are the ones that I talk about;

All are very effective additions to any backyard veggie patch giving the soil and your plants a boost a couple of times a year.  If you are really interested in Urine which is the easiest and most abundant (after a few home-brew beers) homemade fertilizer, then here is some more info from Wikipedia.

Urine contains large quantities of nitrogen (mostly as urea), as well as significant quantities of dissolved phosphates and potassium, the main macronutrients required by plants, with urine having plant macronutrient percentages (i.e. NPK) of approximately 11-1-2 by one study or 15-1-2 by another report, illustrating that exact composition varies with diet. Undiluted, it can chemically burn the roots of some plants, but it can be used safely as a source of complementary nitrogen in carbon-rich compost.

When diluted with water (at a 1:5 ratio for container-grown annual crops with fresh growing medium each season, or a 1:8 ratio for more general use), it can be applied directly to soil as a fertilizer. The fertilization effect of urine has been found to be comparable to that of commercial fertilizers with an equivalent NPK rating. Urine contains most of the NPK nutrients excreted by the human body.

It really is great stuff and it is such a shame to flush it down the loo.

Well listeners and readers, I hope you found my tips interesting, enlightening, and helpful for your garden.

May your garden grow abundantly and be bountiful!

Leek and Potato Soup

Take a large one of these…

Leek and potato soup

and about 500 grams (1.1lbs) of these..

Leek and Potato soup

and add a bit of garlic…

Garlic Close up


You get one of the best home-made and hearty soups around.  Here’s the recipe that I cobbled together.

Gavin’s Leek and Potato Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 leek, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 500 g home-grown potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add leek and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until leek is softened.
  2. Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Using a stick blender, blend leek and potato mixture in saucepan until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle Leek and Potato soup into large bowls, and serve with crusty bread.

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the soup because, well, I ate it before I even thought of taking a picture.  Sorry about that, I just like my food too much to stop and take photos of it.  After all, this is not instagram!  You don’t need to photograph every meal you eat.

After I cooked it, which only took about 40 minutes top after I harvested the leeks, potatoes and found some old garlic cloves in the back of the pantry, Kim and I divided this soup between us in two large noodle bowls.  With the addition of the crusty bread it became our dinner.

Contrary to what TV cooking shows tell us, I find that it is the simple meals that are far more wholesome, filling, and satisfying.  They are also so easy and quick to make when you are short on time or don’t feel like making a slap up meal.

We both felt very satisfied that the majority of the ingredients came from our garden!  It was simply delicious.

Just like our lifestyle.

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