Kale, Western Front (Organic)
Brassica napus. 25 days baby, 50 days full.
A selection made by Tim Peters of Peters Seed and Research in Oregon for the most cold hardy kale available. Tim selected Western Front from the 10% of survivors of hard freezes that killed most other kales, including Scotch, Russian and Siberian types. It has some variation, a few white stemmed plants and some broadleaf types, but mostly with a classic red Russian theme. We have continued to prioritize vigor throughout our winters as our main selection criterion. Noted to have a higher rate of perennial regrowth. Perfect for the winter rotation as it grows actively through the winter unlike many other kales.
Seed produced by Avoca in Corvallis, Oregon.
As required by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Washington Crucifer Quarantine, all Brassica family seed lots have been tested and found negative for blackleg (Phoma lingam) by an approved, certified lab.
Sow indoors with good potting soil February through September. Transplant about 3-4 weeks after sprouting. In our region, kale can grow through the winter without protection, and survives best when sown in June or early July for this purpose. Alternatively, direct sow March through September.
To maintain genetic diversity and prevent inbreeding, collect seeds from 10 or more plants of B. napus varieties, or 30 or more plants of B. oleracea. Cut seed heads when pods are dry, place on tarp, thresh by hand or by dancing. Winnow and screen to clean. Isolate from other Brassicas of the same species by ½ mile.
Where did you grow this variety? Washington
This has been very productive for me this year! I am struggling with aphids but will figure that out.
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William Boyd (verified owner) –
Where did you grow this variety? Southeastern US
Moved from GA to VA nearly 10 years ago, I understood my gardening practices would need to adjust to local conditions.
So when it came to one of my 4 main winter crops, Kale took center stage with my planting all 6 varieties I’d raised in GA. But knowing I and the garden would face colder weather with temps dipping below 0*F more frequently (the lowest we’d experienced in GA was +8*F), I hoped that at least of a few varieties would endure. The winter of ’15-’16 provided the test temps with only a few plants surviving but not thriving.
So I searched for a few hardier varieties and came across Western Front. I’ve now grown it since the following winter and remain entirely satisfied with it. For what it might be worth, Western Front thrives here so well that come spring it fills my hunger gap, continuing to produce better than your Hunger Gap does.
I’m reordering today to ensure the bounty continues for many more winters.
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