Growing kale,or how to get 16000% return on your investment

Seven reasons to start growing kale

Growing kale in your backyard is one of the smartest investments you can make in your health, and one with the biggest returns. Humble, green, leafy kale is simply irreplaceable in the modern healthy diet due to the vast array of health benefits that it provides: cancer protection, weight loss, and stronger bones are the top three. Many people just don’t know about kale, and some don’t like eating it. So let’s talk about the reasons to grow kale – the good sides of it – and how it can benefit the health of your whole family.


Why spend time growing kale, especially when it is available in stores?

Reason #1. Taste

The pale, hardy, easy-to-grow kale that is available at the grocery stores is likely the type you don’t feel passionate about. It was chosen for mass production because of its tolerance to bad soils, transportation, and its bug resistance. Home-grown heirloom kale tastes  much better than its commercially grown cousin. Consider growing dinosaur kale (also called lacinato kale) or Russian kale. They’re used in the Mediterranean kitchen, in the famous Portuguese kale soup and other delicious staple dishes. They are juicier, tastier, and better-looking than the kale you usually buy.

Reason #2. Health benefits of kale -Vitamin content

Planting kale is like growing bottles of vitamins in your own backyard. It’s mind blowing how many vitamins , minerals, and healthy proteins kale provides (check it out here). However, the vitamin content of commercially grown foods is diminished due to transportation, long storage, and exhausted soil. Two days after it is harvested, up to 50% of vitamins in kale get destroyed. Organically grown kale needs to be transported and stored too, sometimes for even longer periods, due to its price. Grabbing a leaf from your backyard ensures the shortest distance to your mouth – and no vitamin loss. If you have to suffer through eating kale, at least suffer for a good reason!

Reason #3. Growing kale without pesticides.

Green leafy vegetables are among the top most contaminated plants used for food. This is not because they require more pesticides, but because their surface area exposed to chemicals is bigger than that of other fruits and veggies. Spinach, salad greens, and kale are much better eaten organic. Once you consider the cost of organic kale, however, you may be compelled to read the rest of my reasons to start growing it. In Ontario, you are likely to pay $1 per leaf.

Reason #4. Kale plants return on investment

No mutual fund or stock will provide the same return on your investment as a little $2.50 package of kale seeds. A package contains about 50 or more seeds. One $0.05 plant can produce up to two store-sized bunches of organic kale in four to five months. You would have paid $3.99 for each! Disregard the cost of labor – there is practically none when you grow an easy-going plant like kale. So your “investment” provides a 16000% return. Planting greens in your backyard can really save you money.

Reason #5. Organic Kale is not easy to find

Are you lucky to live in a big city where kale is readily available in stores? You still have to drive there to get it, then store it in the fridge, and watch it go limp. Isn’t it much easier to step outside and grab a leaf of kale for your smoothie or soup? And if you don’t live in an area where kale is sold, then this is the only way you for you to start enjoying this miracle food.

Reason #6. Cooking Kale means adopting a healthier diet

So your other half doesn’t like kale salad, your kids are not into it, and you are not very crazy about it either? Wait until you start growing it yourself. Kids get interested in the plants they are growing, your partner won’t have the heart to tell you he or she is not into trying the fruit of your labor, and you will be much more inclined to use kale in your cooking. After all, it is there, it is available wherever your cooking imagination starts going, and you could use it at your will instead of planning to shop for it and storing the whole bunch in the fridge.  Use my quick and easy Kale recipes to improve the diet of the whole family.

Reason #7. Ease and pleasure

There is an eternal satisfaction to growing your own plants, and kale is such a pleaser. It doesn’t require frequent watering. Flowering kale decorates your backyard with its curly green leaves, and it grows well both in the sun and in the shade. You can grow a lot of kale in a tiny square foot garden, planting 2-3 kale plants per square foot. If you’ve never grown it, try it. Practically, this is the plant that has both the looks, and the essence.

How many kale plants per square foot?...

If you decided to grow kale after reading my speech in its defense, make sure that you buy either dinosaur or Russian kale. There are a lot of purely decorative types of kale out there, and they are still edible, but not nearly as tasty.

Ideally, you should plant 2 kale plants per square foot in the opposing corners; if you use Food4Wealth system, you will be able to squeeze cilantro, parsley, or spinach in between them and use your limited garden space better. 

I have planted three plants per square foot - since I regularly take out their leaves for my smoothies, space doesn't get too crowded as they grow. 

Kale plant does flourish the best in a non-crowded environment. All the strength goes into developing leaves rather than growing taller to get  more sun. I have planted two kale seeds at the same time and observed  how differently they develop. Take a look at these two pictures and see the difference for yourself:

planting dinosaur kale one per square foot

Pic.1 Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale plant planted 1 per square foot

planting dinosaur kale mixed with other plants

Pic.2 Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale plant grown in crowded environment

As you can see, the leaves are smaller in size, and there are less leaves. The plant is tall and skinny. Other kale plants next to it did not survive the competition from majoram and green onions!

What's in that kale? How to use kale

I have already stressed that kale is full of vitamins, but did you know that it is one of the best sources of plant protein and absorbable Calcium, Manganese and Iron? I started growing it once I understood that it had the longest nutrient list of all easily growable plants. I’ve made kale pesto, kale chips, kale miso soup, pickled kale, and kale smoothies, much to the delight of my family. I hope the seven reasons listed here will entice you to grow kale, a cost-effective, easy plant providing maximum nutrition at your doorstep. Invest in your health; your returns go much farther than 16000% you make on planting one kale seed.


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Return Home from Growing Kale
Learn how to grow kale using different methods here:  Why grow healthy food
Go to Kale recipes to learn how to cook kale quickly and easily

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