(Brassica oleracea) An old Danish variety whose name simply means “eat the leaves”. A particularly tall kale reaching a magnificent 2m in height, so may require staking. The leaves are broad and glaucous, and are slightly peppery to taste. If picked young the leaves are delicious in salads.
(Brassica oleracea) Thought to have been available since the mid-nineteenth century, this variety is both hardy and productive. The plants grow to around one metre in height, producing leaves and flowering tips with a flavour similar to that of spring greens.
(Brassica oleracea) Our donor's family has grown this variety for several generations and found it to be “the nicest tasting of all kales.” Grown extensively before WWII, but seems to have disappeared soon after. Large and prolific; it is both hardy and resilient to pests and diseases. Delicious too, with a slightly nutty flavour.
Originating in China and cultivated for its stem rather than its leaves. First described by Vilmorin-Andrieux (1885) when introduced to Europe, probably by missionary botanists working in China. Harvest the stems 3-4 months after sowing, at around 30cm high and at least 3cm thick. Remove the outer layer to reveal the light green flesh and cut into thin slices. The stem is excellent raw, like celery, or lightly cooked in stir fries.
Our donor sent original Sutton's seed of this butterhead variety when they found it was no longer available commercially. Sutton's Catalogue (1977) states, “A mildew resistant type bred by the National Vegetable Research Station. Specially recommended for June to early August sowing.”
Listed in James Carter's Catalogue of a Choice Collection of Floricultural, Vegetable and Agricultural Seeds of 1842, this variety was described by a contributor to The Gardener (1867); “This sort ought to be in every garden. No other variety can surpass it.” Thought to be synonymous with Brighton Cos; the large, dark green leaves have a rust-coloured tinge and are flavourful, crisp and juicy.
An ex-commercial variety of cos-type lettuce has crisp, green leaves speckled with red. Our donor suggests planting out in autumn and overwintering with protection; the lettuces will heart up for early summer harvesting. Lovely, slightly bitter flavour, perfect in a mixed leaf salad.
A beautiful, productive California heirloom, popular in the USA but was almost unknown here. A large, non-hearting lettuce; the attractive, arrowhead-shaped leaves have a distinctive bronze tinge and mild flavour. Drought and cold hardy, so ideal for autumn sowing and overwintering; it's also less popular with slugs. The merits of this variety have been recognised by commercial seed companies and it is to be included on the National List under its synonym Bronze Beauty. Although now it can be considered safe, we will continue to make it available to members for as long as our stocks last.