Don't let his unkempt outfit fool you: Jack is robust, tasteful, and adds an elegant frill wherever he goes. Just like a traveling Russian peasant, Ragged Jack has many colorful stories to tell: stories of wilted kale salads, deep green sautes, and potato-kale soups. Be kind to this weary world traveler, and let him take root in your garden.
This variety's tender leaves are bluish-green framed by pinkish-red veins. It's as at home in a decorative border as it is in a productive row. Because its leaves are flat and thin, it wilts very quickly; if cooking with thicker, curlier kale varieties, toss it in later to keep it from overcooking.
Kale is biennial. That means that here in the Northeast we have to overwinter the plants and they will flower and go to seed next spring. Usually we cover our kales to give them a bit of winter protection. In fact, most kales get sweeter after a frost and can survive well into winter.