Terrace farmers race to grow ‘old cabbage’ vegetables

Growing kale varieties, Huyen’s family in Lao Cai, Thom’s family in Dak Lak have tall stems like areca trees, each time they eat, they must pick up a ladder.

Kale (kale) is known as a superfood because it is rich in vitamins, and minerals, good for the heart, aids in detoxification and weight loss… Although it has been grown in Vietnam for many years, this species of cabbage has been grown in Vietnam for many years. These vegetables still have a higher selling price than regular vegetables.

For “terrace farmers”, kale is always on the first list of vegetables to have in the garden. This is a herbaceous plant that can be 1-1.5 meters tall, perennial, and suitable for temperate climates.

However, when growing in Vietnam, many families have kale plants up to nearly three meters tall.

The rooftop vegetable growing community is extremely impressed with the kale roots of Ms. Thuong Huyen in Lao Cai city. Planted for more than two years, the owner still takes care of the green trees, the luxuriant leaves, and the very strong roots. “Walking in the middle of a row of vegetables, I thought I was going under an areca tree,” Huyen said.

The oldest trees in her garden are over two meters long. Many new roots planted a year also reach the height of meters. At first, Ms. Huyen did not know that the tree could be so tall and long-lasting, so now she is confused because the tree is about to hit the trellis. She did not dare to water fish manure as before because she was afraid that the tree would be too tall, only occasionally leaving a few ripe bananas at the base to give the plants enough nutrients.

The first kale roots of Ms. Dang Thom in Eahleo, Dak Lak were planted three years ago. The tree is over three meters tall, making many people think it is an areca tree, a papaya tree.

Every time she harvests, Ms. Thom has to climb the wall or climb a ladder. When harvesting, she leaves at least 5-7 leaves for the plant to continue photosynthesis to maintain life. “This vegetable is like Thach Sanh tree, eat it from generation to generation,” she said.

This is the height of the cabbages in the summer of 2021. Thom has to put up stakes and tie them to strengthen them so that the trees won’t fall during storms.

Just over a year old, Bich Han’s kale plants in Ho Chi Minh City are already about 1.7 meters tall. Initially planted, Han did not think the tree would be big and edible for so long. “With a negligible cost, this vegetable growing area is comfortable for my family to use every day and also give it as a gift,” said Han.

Tuoi’s kale roots in Binh Duong look like “old” ones. I love kale, especially kale, so in the garden, there are more than a dozen types such as green kale, dinosaur kale, purple dinosaur kale, purple kale, split-leaf kale, Portuguese kale, seaweed kale….

Ms. Hoang Theu from Quang Ninh said that in the first stage from sowing seeds to about two months, kale grows quite slowly, making many people discouraged. But if you persevere, from three months on, the tree grows very quickly, the leaves are big and thick, and it becomes more and more beautiful.

Because the tree is temperate, it is very difficult to live in the rainy season in her sister’s place. But because she loves this type of food, she always sows a new batch every year.

Like vegetables, kale is prone to aphids, red spiders, and stunted growth. Prevention by spraying garlic, chili, and ginger soaked in alcohol diluted 1: 20 (100 ml of garlic, chili, and ginger mixed with 20 liters of water) once a month.

In the rainy season, kale is very prone to stem rot or root rot. If the tree is found to be a little rotten in the trunk, wash all the damaged parts, apply lime, and disinfect. If the tree has a lot of rot, it is forced to cut the stem, and apply lime to grow new sprouts.

Kale can be grown by sowing seeds. Ms. Tuoi advises that if you sow seeds, you should buy them at reputable seed shops or order them from abroad. Or else, you can break off some of the branches that grow from the old trunk and plant them in moist soil, after only about a week there are new plants.

Currently, there are dozens of different types of kale, but according to gardeners, their taste is similar, eaten like kohlrabi leaves. Most are difficult to eat the first time, but once you get used to them, you will be “addicted”.

There are many delicious dishes from kale such as Stir-fried with meats, shrimp; Cook soup; dipping hot pot; salad dressing; finely chopped fried eggs; boiled young leaves dot braised; used to color noodles, vermicelli or coconut jam… In particular, many people like to plant kale because they have a source of clean vegetables to make juice. Combining it with apples, pineapples, bananas, carrots… will create a drink good for the whole family.

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