Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kale Heartache

This is how beautiful my kale looked when the leaves were just babies, beautiful, green, healthy and whole.

Sometimes I feel like Novella Carpenter, in her book, Farm City when she beats an opossum to death with a shovel because it's killed her goose and one of her ducks, or Michael Pollan in Second Nature when he almost blows himself up trying to rid his garden of a destructive woodchuck.  Angry to the point of murder in my garden.

Cabbage worms, cabbage worms!!!!  You infuriate me! Jasper calls you caterpillars and wants me to find one of you for him daily.  Well, that's certainly no problem, since the kale is infested with you! How, how how can something that starts out no bigger than the size of a pinhead, increase in size like the Incredible Hulk overnight and devour my kale right before my eyes? Sneaky disgusting buggers leaving me with hole ridden kale and your poop!!!

Thinking, like all ignorant gardeners at one time or another, that I would outwit them this year, I planted my kale later in the summer and I only planted kale, no other brassica crops.  Instead of outwitting them, it's like they came back one millionfold.  Aye, aye, aye!!!!!! The pictures don't do the destruction justice.  Some of the stalks, once with tons of thick, beautiful dark green leaves, were eaten entirely away. Nothing left to even photograph.

Oh my lacinato kale, my one true garden love. No offense to you juicy fresh tomatoes, beautiful zucchini blossoms, or my super sweet Hood strawberries, but kale, you and I have only found each other in the garden a few short years ago and I swoon over your taste when sautéed with olive oil and lots of garlic.

I can't keep up with the destruction.  I've been handpicking the little buggers off, but really, it's one big daily disappointment and a feeling this year of, I just can't keep up.  I will not win this battle.

So in my frustration of squishing one cabbage worm after another, I finally just ripped all the kale out and let the kids play Star Wars with the stalks.  If I can't win my battle, at least they can have fun with theirs!

Check out our cute video of one of their Star Wars battles!

And may the kale force be with you!

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