Grow a Kale Plant in Your Apartment

I think it’s fair to say that we at YinOva have a hefty kale habit. We juice it, we steam it and one of us was even caught chopping it into her oatmeal.  We’re particularly fond of kale chips, which satisfy our cravings for something salty and crunchy without having to resort to potato chips.

Kale chips are low calorie and nutritious. In fact, they’d be the perfect snack if it weren’t for the fact that they cost about $5 a box, making a daily kale chip habit a bit of an expensive proposition. One of my colleagues was bemoaning this expense, when it occurred to me that I had a solution.

“We should all grow our own kale chips”, I said.

“I’m not sure that’s practical in a New York apartment”, she said.

And that was where she was wrong!

Kale grows beautifully in pots and it has the kind of leaves that grow back when you cut them making it the perfect plant to keep on a window sill or a fire escape in order to grow your own kale chips. Kale is hardy. It prefers cold weather but it can adapt to heat (although if it gets too hot the leaves can get bitter).

“Kale grows beautifully in pots and it has the kind of leaves that grow back when you cut them”

So that’s how the “grow your own kale chips experiment” started. I agreed to grow some kale plants from seed, so that my workmates could make fresh kale chips for months on end, cheaply and without the inconvenience of going to the store.

How do you grow kale plants, you ask?

It’s easy!

Buy some kale seeds (we like curly kale for kale chips because it gets crunchier). Find a pot that is at least 6 inches across and 8 inches deep and fill it with potting soil. We make our own potting soil but you can save time and buy it too. Plant 2 -3 seeds in the center of the pot, about 1/2 inch deep. Keep the soil moist and as the seedlings grow, pull out the weaker ones, leaving one strong plant. You can read more detailed information about growing plants from seed here.

kale team

And here are Klara, Jon and Mary with their kale plants ready to make an endless supply of yummy kale chips.

All you need to know about keeping a kale plant in your apartment is this. It needs a bit of light. If you forget to water it, the leaves will get bitter. don’t pick all the leaves at once. Never pick the leaves right in the center or you will kill the plant. Instead  harvest the outer leaves. Twist the leaves off gently, or snip them with scissors.

And that’s all you need to know. Except for one thing…..

kale chip

Our yummy kale chip recipe. You’ll find it here.


December 2nd, 2013|Tags: , , , , , |

About the Author:

Jill Blakeway is the founder of the YinOva Center in New York City and a licensed and board certified acupuncturist and clinical herbalist. Jill is the author of two books on women’s health and the host of CBS Radio’s Grow.Cook.Heal.

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