For our first anniversary, my husband and I took a weekend trip to the Loire Valley, located about an hour or so outside of Paris. We lucked out and during the first day it was gorgeous and we felt the sun for the first time in forever, as Paris is not known for sunshine.
Given our luck with good weather, we decided to use the afternoon to tour the Château de Villandry, which is known for extensive and exquisite gardens. After touring the château, we went out to walk through the manicured lawns and gardens.
When I read in the guide that Villandry is known for it’s vegetable gardens, my radar immediately turned on. I thought that if I didn’t find some type of kale here – even as an ornamental plant – that my mission to bring kale to Paris was going to be even more difficult.
But… I was pleasantly surprised! While I did not see any kale planted in the gardens, I did find these interesting informational signs around the area.
Well, well, well, look what leafy green vegetable’s family has a European origin? While I already knew this, I started jumping up and down when I saw these signs. This was proof that someone in France at least knows of the vegetable and where it comes from. That is a win-win for The Kale Project and France!
Walking through the gardens, there was another sign with this illustration of kale as we know it and it being referred to as a “wild plant.” The illustration is perfect and again was encouragement that there is documentation about the vegetable being from Europe and the feasibility that it can be grown here.
Because my husband loves gift shops (no joke), we of course had to stop into Villandry’s. It was a lovely garden store selling gardening tools, books, cookbooks as well as potted plants and flowers. They also sold seeds and I quickly glanced through their offerings where I actually found… kale seeds. Dinosaur kale to be exact; the type that is frequently grown and found in Italy. As you can see, this kale is referred to as “Ornamental” kale and most likely will be used as decoration in the Villandry gardens. Either way, I bought a few packets to try to get a plant or two going on our own small terrace back in Paris.
***On a side note, the lovely Heather from “For The Love of Kale,” has done The Kale Project’s first interview! Check it out and merci beaucoup Heather for your support when The Kale Project is still in its infancy!