THE STORY: A delight to all who see it, we first obtained seeds from this diverse variety from the Seed Ambassadors Project under the name Gulag Stars Kale. It sounded like a seed saver's dream, a wide array of Russian kale varieties that plant breeder Tim Peters collected through years of work and allowed to cross pollinate with each other. Our grow out produced more than we expected: Rich purples and greens, shape ranging from ultra-frilly to virtually frill-free and ovular, loads of high shine leaves, perhaps lending credibility to the theory that Brassica rapa is one of the original parents of the Brassica napus crops. This seed is from our 2015 crop, selected for Northeast cold hardiness and plant health.
USE: The flavor of this kale is in the range of the Russian kale varieties: A bit sharper than Dino Kale or Vates Blue Curled Kale. Plant this variety if you enjoy the flavor of Asian greens, but long for something more substantial and longer lasting in the garden. Makes a great baby leaf for salads. A great variety for the budding breeder or seed saver. Kale is a biennial-grow the plants in year one, overwinter the ones you like, and save the seeds in the second year.