The world works in magical ways. Just as Kale Super Woman Madame Mustard’s second kale crop is quickly growing but not yet ready for market, Nicolas Thirard of Picardie is our Kale Super Man and has come to the kale rescue!
Way back in February, I had a lovely helper call Nicolas to see if he was planning to plant kale in mid-spring in a greenhouse. He said that he wasn’t but when told that it is common practice in other countries that grow kale (minus Germany and the Netherlands), he decided to give it a try. I was so excited to have someone taking the risk to grow kale “out of season” for all of us!
Then in late April I had the opportunity to visit Nicolas’ gorgeous farm in Picardie. The 2.5 hour journey went quickly as the French surroundings transitioned from city buildings into more and more fields with the dark, gray of spring overhead. And like most of March, April, May and yes June, it was raining.
I had only met Nicolas once before when he first started selling kale in Paris and I’m happy to say that my French has improved enough where we were able to converse much better the second time around. I went with a production team from the recipe website, QOOQ, as they needed content for a video they are doing around The Kale Project and kale. Luckily any awkward French moments were resolved with their fluency.
Nicolas was so fantastic as he answered a lot of questions about his farm, why he farms, kale and why he started to grow kale in the first place (he likes to try new things!) Then it was time to head out to see the second spring crop of kale he planted in April.
While I did not grow up on a farm, I did spend a lot of time playing on my uncle’s farm. And for some reason, there is something comforting about being in a greenhouse and the scent of a greenhouse; the mixture of fertile dirt with young tomato plants and blossoming courgettes and now in France, sprouting kale. Nicolas’ greenhouse was no different and I immediately was taken back to a ten-year old me playing tag with my cousins through greenhouses and of course then being scolded for stepping on plants.
There was no tag this time around, just complete excitement and adoration for Nicolas’ kale. Chou frisé non-pommé in all its glory, growing strong and shining fluorescent chlorophyll green.
I am so excited that Nicolas’ out of season kale is now available for all of you. If you do buy some from him, please tell him how happy you are that he took the risk in the early-spring so we could have kale in July!
La Ruche Qui Dit Oui!
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10ème & 13ème
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