World’s Largest Kale


The Franchi kale (collard?) “Galega De Folhas Lisas” I planted in the fall of 2012 has reached six feet. It’s a Portuguese variety used in a soup called Caldo Verde.

Given that we have such a small yard I’ve really got to stop planting gargantuan vegetables like this and those ridiculous Lunga di Napoli squash. Root Simple is at risk of devolving into a geek with large veggie Tumblr site.

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  1. Is this supposed to be a perennial kale, or does it simply keep growing because you live in LA? How big do you think it would get in one growing season in New England? My chickens would love it!

    • I’m waiting to see if this thing flowers this year or goes truly perennial. Sadly, it would not get anywhere this big in your climate. And, indeed, the chickens would love this. By the way, many thanks for the book. Will do a post about it soon.

  2. Wow, that’s an impressive kale. When I lived in Southern California the kale was almost a perennial veggie, we’d get a lot of mileage (and greens) from just a few plants.

  3. I don’t understand why the squirrels aren’t decimating it, like they did mine. Are you spraying any repellant on it?

    • Squirrels eating kale? That’s a new one for me. Thankfully we don’t have that problem here. Where are you located? And, sadly, squirrels are nearly impossible to deter.

  4. Impressive! What, if anything, are you using for pest control? I’m fighting cabbage worms and aphids that want to eat my collards and it has become quite annoying.

    • That’s one nice thing about this plant–it seems to be somewhat, but not entirely resistant to aphids. I went out today and used a hose to spray off a few I found on the underside of the leaves.

    • I’ve noticed that little birds have been picking the aphids off the leaves. The leaves are very accessible to the birds because they’re so big. The aphids seem to occur on the older leaves. And good news– the cabbage moths don’t seem to like this plant at all. It’s right next door to a cabbage worm decimated patch of something else.

  5. That is amazing. Of course, I didn’t know poke salet would grow so tall until I saw my friends 12′ specimen. Does the kale become too tough or too bitter to eat when it grows to the size in the picture? Are you eating from it? Since it is so huge, do you just pick one leaf at a time for a meal?

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