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Ethiopian Kale
Ethiopian Kale

Ethiopian Kale

Regular price $3.75 Sale

Brassica carinata

Origin: Ethiopia

Improvement status: Landrace

Seeds per packet: ~125

Germination tested 11/2020: 70% (Below standard)

Life cycle: Annual

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.

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.