Turn the Most Stubborn Green-y Grumbler into a Kaleaholic

by: EJ on 05/25/2017

Jenni Blackmore's new book, The Food Lover's Garden: Growing, Cooking, and Eating Well is just off press and Jenni shares her thoughts with us from her wild east coast homestead on a rainy spring day.


I am so delighted with the look of my new book, The Food Lover’s Garden! Thank you New Society Publishers for letting me illustrate it with a series of my watercolours, as well as numerous photographs of my veggie plots here at Quackadoodle Farm. And all in full color - have to love that!

Along with its super good looks I believe this book brings with it an important message for these times when ‘extreme weather events’ have elevated crop failures to the status of regular news items. In the past couple of weeks alone we’ve be warned that kale, lettuce and avocados will likely triple in price, if available at all in the coming months. Surely encouragement enough to start growing some of our own food!


I don’t aspire to ever being able to grow avocados in our stormy little neck of the woods but kale – well, that’s a different story. It’s so easy to grow just about anywhere, so versatile in the kitchen and yes, it’s said to be one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. I can’t think of a good reason why not to grow kale.

In my book, the growing of kale (or of any other vegetable come to that) is only fifty per cent of the equation. Preparing it in ways that will turn even the most stubborn greeny-grumbler into a kaleaholic with a single plateful, that’s the equally important other half of the process. That’s why the second section of The Food Lover’s Garden moves into the kitchen, providing a do-it-yourself gastro tour from seed to supper table.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m still a bit of a kitchen klutz (but way better than I used to be) and I like to keep things simple. Time is always a factor in my kitchen and so is cost, therefore all the food prep and meal suggestions are simple and affordable – but also delicious.  I teamed up with Rick Havlak from Homestead Junction to walk you through two very simple kale recipes from The Food Lover’s GardenClick on the video link below for a delicious how-to.

As I write this we’re experiencing our fifth or is it sixth consecutive day of torrential rain and it’s by no means a warm spring rain. Definitely a soup night is what I’m thinking, and here’s the wonderful part – I still have butternut squash and garlic left over from last season’s harvest and, with the addition of a couple of onions, an apple and perhaps a handful of dried apricots, supper will be bowls of warm comfort food that cost only a few cents per serving.

I’m so glad that I don’t have to go out in this miserable weather to purchase food of dubious origin but perhaps what’s best about a homegrown meal is the soul-satisfying sense of being intimately connected to the land and the food you share with family and friends and of knowing that this food source is sustainable.



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