Our 2023 EFN seed catalogue is now online! 100+ new varieties. Over 40 different growers and foragers from across the country. A million thanks to all who make this possible, especially our amazing seed-house crew!
Known as habesha gomen in Ethiopia, and also as "Abyssinian mustard" or "Texsel greens" here, this cool plant is an African green in the cabbage family with a whole lot going for it. The pale purple stems and bluish leaves are beautiful, but the taste is its best attribute. Sweet and mild with a faint mustard quality, it can be used in any recipe that calls for kale, cabbage, mustard greens, or collards. In fact, Ethiopian restaurants here typically use collards as a replacement for this plant because it's not commonly available. The species is believed to be the result of an ancient hybridization between some form of cabbage or kale (Brassica oleracea) and black mustard (B. nigra). There's a long history of using the seeds to produce oil, and it has even been used to make jet fuel!
From a seed farmer's perspective, this is a truly wonderful plant: unlike its biennial cousins, which must go through winter to produce seed, Ethiopian kale is an annual. Being from equatorial Africa, it developed without a real winter. These seeds were produced in one season in Minnesota by Clint Freund and Kass McKinnon of Cultivating the Commons.
NOTE: We believe the tested germination rate is likely lower than you will find because it's fresh 2020 seed, but we are nevertheless including more seed in each packet than we otherwise would.