I’m a big fan of Baker Creek and the seeds they sell. If you are into organic/natural gardening methods and have the same loathsome feelings as I do toward the genetic modification that is creeping into every aspect of the farming world, then you are probably a fan of Baker Creek as well. At our homestead, we want to grow the majority of our foods using natural methods. Planting and harvest times are extremely important and we know what it means to eat seasonally here. We eat what we grow and grow what we eat. This allows us to avoid the franken-food industry as much as possible.
Today I have decided to do a review on the Red Russian Kale that we purchased from Baker Creek last year and the results we had over the winter. Spring is almost here and we just finished harvesting the kale that we have been growing and eating all winter. I really love this kale variety! Many people have toured our greenhouse and aquaponics system during the last 6 months and this kale was one of the treats that folks got to sample along the way. My favorite reaction came from a woman in her 80’s. Her eyes lit up as she remarked at how sweet it was! This kale has been extremely enjoyable.
During the winter, there were a few days when the temps in the Ozarks got in the single digits. At this point the kale turned a deep purple or purplish red color. It never stopped growing and never tasted bitter, whether it was green or red. One of its best qualities is its ability to allow you to harvest one or two leaves per plant while sprouting new leaves in its place. This way, it provides a continual harvest.
I initially planted the kale in four aquaponic grow beds. Because spring is now upon us, I needed to free up those grow beds for other things. So when the final harvest took place and we ended up with so much beautiful kale, we decided to make kale chips. We had never made them before, but they instantly became a house favorite. We had to stop our two boys from eating them all before we could snap a picture!
“An American Homestead” Kale Chips
Kale cuttings (as much as you can get)
Salt and Pepper
Wash your kale leaves and rinse. Jaimie likes to use her salad spinner to dry the leaves after washing. It works great! Gather your kale in a bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Toss the kale so that it is all evenly coated with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Many people prefer sea salt, but we like the Real Salt brand with its 60+ trace minerals.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread your kale on one or more oven safe cookie sheets. You’re going to bake it for approximately 20-30 minutes. At the 10-15 minute mark, pull it out and stir. Turn the pieces over and move them around on the tray. Then place them back in the oven. The pieces on the outer edges get done sooner, so it is good to move them around every 10 minutes. The kale is done when all the pieces are crispy. Then EAT! YUM!
Everyone in our family loved these kale chips! Next year I’m planning on growing a lot more kale. Be sure to grab some of these Red Russian Kale seeds over at Baker Creek (CLICK HERE). I know your family will love them too!
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Kale chip are a favorite around our house also. My wife found a recipe online a few years back and we enjoy them year round. Keep up the awesome work on the Homestead, you guys are great as we enjoy your videos and learning different tricks and ideas.
I saw your you tube videos from 4/17/15 and I started thinking about your mission of being self sufficient when the stuff hits the fan. It seams that some of your ideas are touching on temporary fixes when we lose all power and everything shuts down. I’m talking about buying liquid manure powder from a source you may not be able to get from after. ( you-know-what) Ditto for plastic for your greenhouse and batteries for your electric grid. Shouldn’t you folks be working towards a more permanent solution for your needs. Think “dark ages” and “pioneers going west” and what they had to work with, and how long the equipment you use would work. Instead of buying a manure tea powder, try working with resources you have in your area. Collect glass for a greenhouse and other needs. Collect tractor parts and other motor parts. Find a spring or creek on your property to run a small generator. Start working on digging a cave of sorts to store potentially hard-to-get supplies and an underground larder space that would stay cold all year.
Look for Joel Saladin on you tube and in books He has real ideas on permanent water storage that work. He is the father of “grass-fed” livestock, and knows a lot of things you need to learn.
I wouldn’t have bought trees from a nursery, they cater to urban weekend gardeners. You might have contacted your county extension agent or a grower online that specializes in the fruit for the area you live in. Ask some oldies who have lived in the area for a while.
I guess what I’m suggesting is that you should get to a place living your daily lives so that when the grid shuts down you folks won’t even know it because it won’t effect you.
Otherwise I love everything you are doing and tell my friends about you. They watch you but won’t contact you because they are staying under the radar so no one will know where they are when the grid goes down. Love to all. Linda
My daughter made us kale chips last summer. She used salt, pepper, nutritional yeast & chili powder or something hotter for kick! . 🙂
I am inspired by the videos and articles that you and your family have shared. I am not as young as you two and am a widow. But, I still have a dream of getting my piece of land producing to meet my needs as much as possible without depending on outside sources or as little as possible.
It truly saddens me to see in the comments section of most everything that you have shared people telling you what’s wrong with what you are doing and here’s what you should do. You answer only to God and your family. No one no matter what they know can tell you, outside of God and your family that this or that isn’t right. I personally think that your sharing is meant to inspire and give a view of one family’s choices and workings to take care of your needs. If you need our suggestions or help I’m certain that you are more than able to reach out for help. It sure looks like you’ll get lots of responses, lol. God bless you for persevering and continuing to share with all of us.
Thank you Ma! We appreciate your encouragement! It seems that “here’s what you should do” comments come with the territory. I do find it interesting that a large majority of comments like these come from people who have not actually tried what they are suggesting is a workable method. Sigh…like I said, it comes with the territory. There is a lot of “off-grid” information on the internet. I know from reading many off grid resources that much of it is written from what I think is a “reporter” kind of writing rather than actual experiential writing. The information that we share here is always things that we have tried and have experience doing. We believe that the only way to learn if something works is to actually get out and do it! 🙂
All of your articles really give me inspiration that someday maybe I can live a little less on the grid. I think I have a lot of learning before I could do it though. I just want to thank you for sharing the things you have.