Nutritional Benefits of Kale and the Effects of Indoor and Traditional Farming Methods
When you are talking about growing food it isn’t as simple as planting a seed and watering it in hopes that it grows to abundance. Plants are more complicated than we think and require more attention than that. One of my favorite plants is kale. Not only because it tastes good in everything but because it is one of the most nutrient dense leafy greens on the market. This vegetable is also extremely durable and easy to grow. Although kale is easy to grow it still requires the right amount of sunlight and water to be successful. With different types of farming you get different results.
With traditional farming you have to be careful of where you plant your kale crop because you will need sunlight all day. Kale will still grow in partial sunlight or shade but your stock won’t be nearly as leafy or think in growth. You also have to maintain a moist soil content for your kale to grow. Another thing that you have to watch out for when using a traditional method of farming is Aphids. Aphids love to feast on lots of plants but their favorites are tomatoes and kale. You can be rid of these pests by using pesticides of course or go with a more natural approach and use ladybugs.
With indoor vertical farming the approach is quite different. The facility is monitored to make sure that plant variant gets the exact sunlight required for optimal growth. Since the crop is grown indoors there is no risk of pests. You can also grow a much larger crop size considering that the farm is vertical and gives much more room for additional crops to thrive.
With kale being one of the most nutritionally beneficial plants on the culinary market why are we not utilizing our knowledge of indoor farming to grow as much as possible? Even Danish economist Per Pinstrup-Andersen says that “it's time to take vertical indoor farming seriously”.
Try this fun Kale Cesar Salad recipe at home to see just how yummy kale can be.
· Extra Virgin Olive Oil
· 2 Cloves of garlic
· Pinch of crushed red pepper
· ½ cup of grated Parmigano
· Zest and juice of 1 lemon
· 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
· 2-3 anchovy fillets
· 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
· Kosher salt
· 1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed, cut into ribbons
· Shaved Parmigano
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the Parmigano, lemon zest and juice, garlic, Dion mustard, anchovies and Worcestershire. Puree until smooth, about 15-30 seconds. With the machine running add ¼ to 1/3 cup of olive oil through the feed tube. Let the processor continue to run for about 20 seconds. Taste and season as needed. If you like a creamier consistency you can add a tablespoon of mayonnaise.
2. In a large bowl toss the kale with croutons and 2/3 of the dressing. Let sit for about 3 minutes. Taste and season as necessary. Toss some fresh shaved Parmigano on top and enjoy! I like to add some grilled salmon or skirt steak to my kale Cesar salads as well.