Vegetables, it seems, are equally subject to the vagaries of fashion as are ornamental plants - and a brassica traditionally noted more for its outstanding hardiness rather than its superb flavour looks set to be the 'next big thing' according to a prediction from Mr Fothergill's.
"We monitor many areas of the press and have noticed in recent months an increasing number of food and cookery writers are singing the praises of the once-humble kale", reports the Suffolk seedsman's product manager David Turner. "This is particularly true in the glossy lifestyle and women's interest publications".
David decided to check whether Mr Fothergill's retail seed sales reflected this growing trend and says sales of its variety Dwarf Green Curled have risen by 20 per cent against the same period last year. "This has been about for many years, but we feel the real interest will come for recently bred new kales, which are much more versatile than older strains", continues David.
"For example, our new and exclusive Bolshoi F1 is ultra-hardy, has great flexibility of harvest and is capable of providing tasty crops all year round. The mild sweet leaves are highly nutritious and may even appeal to children!
Bolshoi F1 is great for stir fries, light steaming and can even be eaten raw in salads and coleslaw. It can also be picked as 'baby leaves' just four weeks from sowing". A packet of 250 seeds of Mr Fothergill's Kale Bolshoi F1 costs £2.05.
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