Kale in DWC – Simple Straightforward and doable!
Kale is a leafy green and is known as Kale cabbage, but it doesn’t form a head. Essentially, its leaves are used for consumption. Its leaves are green or purple in color. It is a minor crop and belongs to the family of cabbage and cauliflower.
We sowed the seeds for this exotic variant sometime in April 2018.
It was simple to take care of this plant and very soon we will harvest the same and use it in our in-house yummy salad! Kale chips are another option we may think of experimenting with!
In our Research Centre, we transplanted the Kale in DWC medium as well as in a cocopeat bed. We prepared the nutrient solution by adding 2ml of CityGreen’s Balanced NPK solution per liter of water. Initially, we felt that the growth is not very fast. But we realize that Kale is a winter happy crop! It loves cold climates and in fact tastes sweet after a real heavy frost! Alas, we are in Bangalore of today, or I am sure the Kale would have grown much more happily in a Bangalore climate 10-15 year prior when cold seemed to be the year-round theme in Bangalore.
The plants are aerated on alternate days. A close watch is kept confirming pests are at Bay!
However, the kind of pests that take an absolute liking to a crop like Kale are
- Blister Beetles.
- Cabbage Aphids.
- Cabbage Loopers.
- Cabbage Webworms.
- Diamondback Moths.
- Flea Beetles.
Considering the varying climates and temperatures that the Kale faced we’d say it has been a success for us to be able to see it grow and increase!
In our Indian context, it would be ideal to kind of make a kale paneer dish as its nutrient content and properties seem to outnumber spinach. The nutrients in kale can help boost wellbeing and prevent a range of health problems. It contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin K, among others. An extremely good source of vitamin C and iron; its one of the must haves and must grow in your home garden/ kitchen.
So start by sowing the seeds. Ensure the cocopeat is moist and the seeds are provided a good place to germinate well. Every day, it will be good to keep an eye and check if the cocopeat is moist enough and has not completely dried out. After 7-8 days the first signs of visible life will be seen, and that is an experience worth undergoing. Any form of life brings an enthrallment like no other!
Then a good supply of Nutrient solution dose at the time of transplant till harvest.
So, to start with at the time of transplanting, we used our in-house NPK solution @ 2 ml/ liter of water. At the end of a month, the plant looked ready and stable and healthy enough with a good root structure such that it will survive in a transplanted environment.
So, then the DWC rack was made ready for the Kale, and the Kale was transplanted.
This water was well aerated, and the kale took shape and form. Day by day we kept a close watch to monitor and record the pH, EC and ppm levels of the water to note of any variances or fluctuations that in effect may bother the plant growth. Often the nutrient solution already being pH balanced didn’t pose any major perils!!
It’s now 2 months past and one of these days we will harvest this fibrous multipurpose ingredient that fits well in exotic kitchens as well as in our Indian garnishing effortlessly!
No waiting people, Get to work Its time to get the kales out!!!
Sometimes you choose your profession. Sometimes God chooses your profession for you. For me it was the latter – The quest to find purpose and expression came in the form of my work. A connection with soil, water, growth and life.
As a kid, I would secretly wish that grown-up life was just like my childhood – running around luscious green fields, feeding the farm cows, chasing and being chased by hens, goats, cousins, the wind in my hair, the rain on my face, the smell of the earth after a rain, and the sound of non-stop laughter.
It was a sad day, when I realised that my wish was just that – a wish! Its been a personal mission for me to recreate the magic of my childhood in any way possible and contribute to clean air, smiling faces, nourishing food, happier homes all with a sense of awe and gratitude. Thus I found my way to CityGreens – here I help people sow, plant, nurture, care and harvest plants. Through plants a better home and life.
When I was not running around and playing with my cousins and farm animals I also managed to do my B.Tech and MBA.