Excellent news! The small sutherland kale I suspected was a rooting from the bigger one has been transplanted to the food forest, grown happily, and even survived the winter!
I cut it back around September to invigorate its growth. Young growth is much more resilient than old, which I figured would increase its chance of living through the winter. It seems to have worked.
I covered it with a plastic barrel greenhouse though; and the winter was exceedingly mild. I wouldn’t say this kale has proven itself ‘hardy’ yet.
Unfortunate news is it’s sending up flower shoots -profusely. Considering its supposed clone-parent hardly gave a flower, I doubt it really is a clone and is more likely a seedling -an especially stocky seedling.
Even biennial kales can have their life extended by prohibiting seeding. I harvested the shoots along with the asparagus spears pictured and some early turkish rocket buds and cooked them up for a very tasty lunch.
It was just a quick saute with some black pepper and fish sauce sprinkled over it. Once on the plate I sprinkled on some white balsamic vinegar and it was perfect.
We’ll see how perennial this kale turns out to be. But if the cold doesn’t get it, and its longevity is only a matter of keeping it cut back and clean of shoots, it will live a long time.