In a popular clip, Instagrammer @gardenaryco shows off the veritable kale forest she grew in her very own backyard, to much positive acclaim online.
The video details her process from start to finish.
Beginning in February, the Instagrammer got her kale seedlings going indoors. Then, in March, she brought them outside to plant in her garden after they’d had time to get a little bigger. By May, she was ready for her first harvest. She removed a single kale leaf from her garden a day, making a unique smoothie every day with her fresh-grown ingredient.
After her garden turned into a kale forest and became home to some unwelcome caterpillars, she eventually harvested the rest and removed the kale plants from her garden — with heaps and heaps of leaves for the freezer to pull out and prepare later as needed.
“I just kept harvesting kale,” the Instagrammer says in the clip.
For pest control, she planted the kale alongside nasturtiums, calendula, and chives, which act as a natural form of pesticide. This technique is known as companion planting, in which multiple species of plants are grown together that offer specific benefits to each other.
It is a fantastic alternative to conventional, chemical pest control that has been linked to ecological harm. And beyond the benefit of protecting a garden naturally, many useful companion plants are vegetables and herbs themselves, which can easily diversify a garden’s yield.
The video was well received, and commenters offered their thoughts on the backyard kale forest.
“Yes it keeps giving!! I do this with spinach to last so long and freeze a lot of it before the heat hits!” one commenter writes, referring to the generous amount of times the kale was harvested.
Another offers an intriguing recipe for fresh, garden-grown kale.
“Toss in olive oil and a bit of veggie or chicken stock and pepper, and put in the air fryer at 180 degrees Celcius for 12 mins. Kale chips!! My kids can’t get enough,” they write.
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