In The-New-York-Times yesterday, there was a fabulous article about a celebration time from November to February in a town 50 miles south of the North Sea in Oldenburg, Germany. If you think you love kale in your quinoa salads, vitamin-packed soups and super green smoothies, move on over. Folks in this town don’t just eat kale. They revel in hikes and feasts in local restaurants where an annual King and Queen are chosen to represent the superstar veggie.
This pair of “royal” volunteers has to choose hiking routes, gatherings and games for all to praise and party their beloved curly kale or “grünkohl” in German. This city loves kale so much, the residents have deemed Oldenburg the “Kale Hike Capital.” One resident summed it up. “It’s not about the kale. Some people like it, some don’t. It’s about the togetherness, belonging and good friends.” If that doesn’t sound like the Pacific Northwest, I don’t know what does!
The key element to this two-month long bash for kale in Germany is that it is cold. Annually, they adore their kale during the chilly season along with spicy sausage and potatoes. Many of the local farmers in the 17th and 18th centuries had their own varieties of kale, and sadly, many of these have been lost in the recent times to seed companies selling easier-to-harvest types. Eating kale in July and August (even though it may be beautiful) is not a popular item. So, fear not, no need to go to Germany. We still have a few months of chilly, kale-eating weather right here. Make your own kale picnic and take a hike as we have many amazing farmers locally producing big, beautiful, organic bunches of kale, red, green and Lacinato.
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