Could kale be the new wonder veggie? It is something we have in our fridge, almost every week. I was buying it at the markets a few weeks ago and as I stood in the line waiting to pay for our fruit and veggies a woman asked me what I did with the kale?
While I could have spoken about the benefits of kale and its many uses in the kitchen I had to tell the truth – it was for our chickens! Kale is Lucy and Carmella’s (our two chickens) favourite green vegetable. They like it better than spinach or broccoli. I tie up one or two pieces of kale with string and hang in it the chicken run. They get so excited they start eating it even before I finish tying it up.
The kale I bought this week looked so good I thought maybe we should be eating kale! Since then I found out that kale is a wonder veggie. It is full of vitamin K, A, C and antioxidants. It can lower our cholesterol, has zero fat, is low in calories and high in fibre. I started to look for recipes with kale as an ingredient. Our chickens should not be the only ones to benefit from eating kale. No wonder they are looking so healthy with kale in their diet.
We will have to grow kale in our garden. The garden, as small as it is, is going well and we are enjoying the benefits of what I call our mediterranean garden. When we bought our house in Toowoomba in early 2016 there were a few tomatoes and herbs in a garden fenced off with wire, no doubt to keep the brush turkeys out! There was also low growing azaleas and lots of nasturtiums. I pulled out heaps of nasturtiums a few months ago, as they were taking over the garden. I now see a few more growing and that is not so bad as nasturtiums are an edible plant with iron and vitamin C. You can also eat the leaves as they are a natural antibiotic. Kale, like other vegetables are good for us and many edible plants, such as nasturtiums.
We have revamped one side of our house (the mediterranean garden) which includes, the vegetable and herb garden, flowering shrubs, dwarf citrus trees, dwarf black mulberry, two compost bins, a potato patch, rosemary bush and a chicken coop and run which houses our two chickens (who will be hens – once they reach one year of age)!
Our garden and chickens are giving us an interest in our retirement. It has rained on and off the last few days at our place. The chickens earlier were out enjoying their time in the run and as soon as another shower of rain arrives they run off into the warmth and safety of the coop. The coop is enclosed with timber on three sides at the back (under the roosting/nesting area) and has rubber matting under the straw. This gives them a dry and cosy space when it rains.
I am enjoying our small successes in the garden. I am really looking forward to eating my O&O’s potatoes once they are ready for digging! Today, once again, I enjoyed one of the simple pleasures of life – picking up and holding a warm egg in my hand, only minutes old. Yes, it was Lucy’s egg – she left the nesting box at a fast pace when she heard my voice – not wanting to miss out on another veggie treat!
Now that we have done our chores for the day – is it time for tea?