My latest plant crush is Ethiopian Kale. The silvery-green foliage can easily be your plant crush too. I like it so much, I finally dug up the rest of our grass to plant a fairy forest of this ancient Brassica. I love it as an easy guest to germinate and grow in my garden. Handy in low elevation, urban, tropical setting; Ethiopian Kale is a drought-resistant, Mighty Green yielding small shrubs of nutritious leaves, seeds, and stems. I hear they do well in cooler regions also. Simple to nurture and non-demanding; Ethiopian Kale seems eager to share bounty with my family.
Ethiopian Kale has deep history. Also called Abyssinian Kale, Texsel greens, Ethiopian mustard, highland kale, and Gomen zer, I feel the presence of generations that came before me when I harvest this plant from my garden. Preparing the leaves to eat recalls exclamations of multitudes all over the world admiring the tenderness of the leaves, wondering about the succulence of their juiciness even through the roughest of droughts. I know I am one in a long tribe because it was domesticated in Ethiopia over 6000 years ago. Even my teenage son who used to projectile vomit kale as a 6 year old, grindz Ethiopian Kale when its the star of any of these raw kale salad recipes. I believe he tastes connection - to history, to our lost tribe, to our found tribe - through the satisfaction of high nutrition fresh from the soil.
High in nutrients from seed to leaf, da buggah is powerful! I seriously envision the delicious leaf bunches pumping up my biceps when I nibble them fresh from my garden, but who knew it was also part of an experiment with aviation fuel from plant sources? In 2012, the first flight of a jet aircraft powered 100% with biofuel was firing on fuel made from brassica carnata.
The roughest corner of my small garden gets neglected of the compost I regularly supply the rest of my soil. More red cinder than black gold, the space also seems to collect bits of plastic and random feathers. Yesterday I discovered a little Ethiopian Kale germinated there. Small but strong. Green and good. I want to share seeds from my plant crush with you. Let me know if you want to join the tribe - grow Ethiopian Kale!
Check out the Roots Contest
When you are surrounded by water, surfing is a right. Wherever you go on the Big Island, the ocean is your front yard. Yet not all keiki get the opportunity to explore surfing and Kona's fascinating and unique surf history gets lost as generations loose contact with nature.
14 years ago I linked up with the most hard core group of bodyboarders I had ever met. They were raw and rugged with open gashes from reef wounds and hearts of penniless gold; wanting nothing else but to perpetuate their culture of wave riding and preserve their beach that was about to be converted into a condo. With my penchant for creating zero waste educational opportunities and being the sole operator of an email account, we joined forces to create Kona's only FREE contest to honor the birthbeach of bodyboarding - Wai'aha. Lael hunted a pig, I foraged for fruit, and before we knew it, 30 guys had signed up for our contest. 14 years later, we are two generations into preserving and perpetuating the cultural practice that brought us together. Wai'aha Beach Park is now a free public park. And the surf is still firing.
Ms Krista says:
Everyday encounters with real garden sprites; tortuous panorama of the surf; old-growth collards; machete lessons; mantis rehab; pesto pasta. Days as a public school garden teacher on the Big Island are filled with unexpected gems of wisdom and infinite inspirations. Introducing my life as a school garden teacher...