As a distinguished member of the Brassica family, kale is a form of the cabbage plant. Like its more bulbous relative, kale is an incredibly hearty and healthy plant. But in terms of looks, the kale plant produces longer, leaner central leaves that never form a head.

Kale leaves can range in color from light-green to dark, violet-green and they come in many varieties, including curly leaved and flowering cultivars. And because some types of kale can grow successfully in the winter, one variety is commonly called “Hungry Gap” in reference to the period of the year in which very few vegetables can be harvested.

Kale can be eaten raw (adding a punchier flavor to salads) or cooked. It is a staple ingredient used around the world, appearing in traditional dishes from East African stews to Irish mashed potatoes. Flowering, or ornamental, kale can be eaten as well, but it is often used for decorative purposes.

When choosing your kale, look for crisp stalks and un-wilted leaves. Kale can keep for up to a week when wrapped in a paper towel and stored in the refrigerator. Kale can also be frozen and will often develop a sweeter flavor from the frost.

In Season

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Recipes with Kale

Articles about Kale

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.

July 04, 2014

On the Farm at Marin Roots

Take a behind-the-scenes look at organic veggie growing with the young farmers at Marin Roots Farm.

July 02, 2014

Volunteer of the Month: Rafael Zuniga

Rafael’s passion for good food stems from his work with children and youth.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »