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Sea kale, healthy, salty vegetables

  1. Sea kale has been cultivated in France and Great Britain, among others, since the 18th century. It is especially popular in England; it already appears in Thomas Jefferson garden book from 1809. Sea kale has been cultivated in the Netherlands since 2008; before that it was only picked as a wild vegetable. Inland, this vegetable also grows less well. Sea kale grows all the better in the sea air. From 2011, sea kale cultivation in the Netherlands has passed the trial stage and it is an exclusively available vegetable. At the moment it is only grown on Texel and it is for sale in the spring and autumn.

Sea kale grows on salty soil

  1. Sea kale grows on salty soil and in salty air. One of the ideas behind the project to make sea kale suitable for professional cultivation is that the Netherlands

Where is sea kale for?

  1. Sea kale is found in the wild on the coast in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, the Baltic States, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Russia, Turkey and Jordan. Sea kale is also found in the United States

Naming sea kale

  1. The Latin name for sea kale is crambe maritima

What is a halophyte?

  1. In science, a salt-tolerant plant is called a halophyte. Sea kale is one of the halophytes, just like the other salty vegetables. The plant is common on the Afsluitdijk. Not many crops can withstand soil with a lot of sea salt in it, but sea kale can. Sea kale grows above the high water mark and will therefore never come into contact with sea water. The Free University (VU) has conducted all kinds of experiments to investigate the ideal salinity of the soil for optimal cultivation of sea kale. What is particularly striking is that close to the sea the air is much saltier due to a 'spray' of seawater that is present in the air. Plants like sea kale do not suffer from this at all. The VU is also researching the salt resistance of other crops such as wild arugula

Wadden product

  1. Dutch sea kale growers have joined forces in the Texel Saline trading company. The same company also plans to market a salty potato. Sea kale is currently only being ecological

Growing sea kale yourself

  1. You can grow sea kale yourself. It is a beautiful ornamental plant with nice flowers. You don't have to live by the sea to keep it in the garden; it just grows inland but perhaps a little less exuberantly. Sea kale likes moist soil, full sun and prefers to grow between a few rock blocks. Sea kale grows to a height of half a meter. In addition to sea kale, there is another species that originally only grows in the Caucasus: the Crambe Cordifolia

Tips for eating sea kale

  1. In collaboration with some Texel chefs, it has been discovered that sea kale can be eaten raw. It has a slightly bitter, nutty and mild cabbage flavor. Sea kale is also a great vegetable for blanching or stir-frying. It can be used raw in a stew. Sea kale in England prefers to be blanched and eaten with butter or bechemel sauce.

  2. In collaboration with some Texel chefs it has been discovered that sea kale can be eaten raw. It has a slightly bitter, nutty and mild cabbage flavor. Sea kale is also a great vegetable for blanching or stir-frying. It can be used raw in a stew. Sea kale in England prefers to be blanched and eaten with butter or bechemel sauce.



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