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Thread: seeking ideas!

  1. #1

    Default seeking ideas!

    Hi All...

    I have a few questions for you all. My kale is going bananas this year and I have more than usual. I made a big batch of kale pesto that is delicious, but am wondering if you all have ideas of other great ways to put away a lot of kale and to be able to get something good out in the winter from it...

    Also, I got a rhubarb plant this spring-just a newbie and the little tag says don't harvest the stalks the first year... It's now in a barrel about 5 gallons in size and loving the weather in Fairbanks. I think this fall I'll move it to a raised bad, cut the stalks off and put them in the compost, then cover the plant with wood chips before it gets cold. Then next spring it's going to find a permanent home and I can eat it next year, right? Does that sound like a good way to overwinter this guy or what?

    Thanks for any ideas or corrections to my rhubarb plan!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK


    No ideas on preserving kale (though I would like some), but our favorite way of using our kale is to make kale chips. Peel the leaves off the stem and tear them into chip-sized portions. Roll them lightly in olive oil (as light as possible while still covering the leaves), spread them out on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 for 9-11 minutes or until they become crunchy but not yet brown. Sprinkle them with some ground sea salt or seasoned salt and enjoy.

    On a side note, I would love to get a copy of that kale pesto recipe if you're willing to share.

  3. #3
    Member ergoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    We make a kale potato soup with chicken broth as the stock, add a little crunchy bacon and some celery. We've frozen it before with decent results. We use a ton of kale vs. potato. We also like kale chips with a little season salt on them in addtion to the olive oil. Curious about the kale pesto as well.

  4. #4
    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    little log cabin on the river


    One way I like to preserve Kale (as well as a few other garden greens) is chop (or scissor) it up into small pieces and dry it. I have a rack over my wood cook stove that suits me well drying herbs and veggies, but I suppose a screen in an oven with the pilot light lit may work or even a on a rack near a sunny warm window perhaps. Dried garden greens are great in winter soups, stews, sauces and gravies. Crush the dried leaves up finer and add to bread doughs, cheesy biscuits, mashed potatoes or dips. The possibilities are endless!

    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

  5. #5
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, and will kill vegetation if the leaves are laid on top of it, so I dont think you should put it in the compost. The stalks should be ok for compost.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  6. #6
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Alaska, Mat valley


    I compost rhubarb, leaves & all, have for years (the whole plant in the fall) & never noticed any problems.
    I thing when it breaks down in compost, no problem. But no science to back it up, just
    my compost works well. Saw on another garden post that it was OK for compost, so I never quit composting it.

  7. #7
    Member garnede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    soon to be back in Alaska


    The rhubarb is fine to compost, it will not harm you or plants when composted.

    For the Kale you can blanch it in boiling water for one minute then drop it into ice water to cool it, then freeze it for later use.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

  8. #8


    Thank you all for all the ideas... The kale chips sound great and we have a big dehydrator, so I can also dry it for soups and such throughout the year...

    And for the kale pesto... A friend of mine told me this one, as kale is easier to grow than basil... It's basically a pesto recipe with kale replacing the basil. This is what I wrote down after I did a batch and it was very tasty. All amounts are rough, depending on your likes and dislikes.

    12 oz kale, cut off the stems, then blanched for a few minutes, ice bathed and then patted dry in a towel
    1/3 - 1/2 c toasted walnuts, chopped
    6 cloves garlic
    1/3 - 1/2 c olive oil
    1/2 - 1/2 c parmesan, grated
    salt and pepper to taste

    mince the kale and garlic in a food processor, add the nuts, then drizzle in the olive oil. Lastly add the cheese. When its all a good consistency, taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. I like to freeze it in small jars so I can get it out and have a few dinners with it and it doesn't over-age in the fridge. I made a big jar once, and didn't eat it fast enough and it went bad, so I like the little sizes...

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas with me. I'm having so much fun with my little raised bed garden this summer. I also heard you can make parsley pesto by just replacing the kale or basil with parsley... food for thought!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Putting Kale up? Blanch in salted water, dunk in ice water to stop the cooking, then freeze in vacuum bags. Add to soups, stews, or serve steamed or sauteed through the winter. We do the same with chard and celery.

  10. #10
    Member power drifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Down wind of 2 Glaciers


    Not sure about Fairbanks but Ive seen kale last pretty good while in the winter left right in the garden. If you cover it a bit it last better in freezing weather than any other plant I think.


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