It’s not a kale or a mustard but something in between.
Brassica carinata is thought to have been domesticated about 6000 years ago in Ethiopia. Currently it is used in many East African and some Asian countries. Although it is similar to more common kale in nutritional value, and is especially high in folic acid and vitamin C, some of those countries grow it as a seed crop and oil crop. There is a potential for this kale to yield 15 tons of leafy greens per acre in a warm climate. It is very easy to grow and doesn’t cross with other Brassicas. It is thought to be a cross between Brassica nigra and Brassica oleracea.
In the tropics Ethiopian kale can be grown in highland regions up to 2600 m with a cool climate, but also in lowlands with relatively warm and dry conditions. It can grow from the equator to Canada and appears to be daylength neutral.
What is most exciting to us is that it is thriving in the bioshelter this winter! For the last couple of weeks we’ve had a nice pile of wilted mixed greens on the dinner table. A big portion of our winter vegetables is Ethiopian kale.
Here is the pan of delicious mustardy Ethiopian kale from tonights dinner.