Old Growth Palm

Crop: Kale (Brassica oleracea)

Use/Type: Standard

Breeder: Frank Morton Wild Garden Seed

OSSI Pledge Date: 11/18/2015

Release Date: 11/18/2015

Bred for Organic Systems: Yes

Commercial Availability: Yes

Variety Type: Finished Variety


Growers in the west, where winter slowly becomes spring and spring lasts until after July 4th, commonly winter-sow ‘Lacinato’ kale for earliest transplanting. Spring kale is a welcome addition to first CSA boxes and markets, but by summer, the kale appeal has worn off, and harvest ceases. Some growers till the crop in. Others, like my friend Josh Volk, leave it standing until the cool of autumn returns, then revive the standing (giant) plants with weeding, water, fertility, and attention to aphids. By time of first frost, the kale has returned to vigorous growth, and harvest resumes. ‘Old Growth Palm’ kale is selected with this production plan in mind, to recreate a “black palm kale” that doesn’t flower during summer, die of heat stress, or succumb to aphids, as well as having strong unforked stems, good color, and Tuscan taste. The result looks a lot like ‘Palm-tree Cabbage’ and ‘Cavolo Nero’ described and illustrated in The Vegetable Garden (1885).

Availability from OSSI Seed Company Partners