Beedy’s Camden: Last Kale Standing

I’m always on the lookout to trial new and improved varieties of fruits and vegetables. But sometimes the best varieties aren’t really that new at all. Such is the case with my new favorite kale – Beedy’s Camden.

overwintered Beedy's Camden kale (click on any image to enlarge)

As the story goes, back in the 1980’s Beedy Parker noticed a kale that was overwintering in her Camden, Maine garden. She propagated the kale, and made seeds available to other gardeners. Likely a relative of a Siberian kale, Beedy’s selection has silvery, frilly leaves and a sweet, delightful taste. And it is super hardy.

silvery leaf of Beedy's Camden kale

Last year was my first year growing this delightful kale. It easily survived our unusually mild winter conditions, growing uncovered here in our zone 6B garden. And now, after all the other kale varieties I grew last year are flowering, Beedy’s kale is still growing strong. And we are still enjoying those sweet tender leaves. That’s a real winner of a plant in my books, and worthy of a little publicity.

closeup of Beedy's Camden kale plant

I got my seeds through a seed swap with fellow blogger Mr H of Subsistance Pattern, but they are available to all through Fedco seeds. I’m planning to save seeds from our best plants this year. Since kale readily cross pollinates with other members of the cabbage family, I will make sure no other Brassica plants are blooming at the same time. I am pretty sure I am the only gardener within the recommended one mile isolation distance that is likely to be having brassicas blooming this spring.

no sign of flower yet

If you’re a fan of kale, you might consider giving Beedy’s Camden a try. It’s hardy, tasty, and actually looks quite stunning in the garden. It’s certainly earned a place on our roster of favorites here at Happy Acres, and I thought that was worth sharing!

 

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9 Responses to Beedy’s Camden: Last Kale Standing

  1. Daphne says:

    It sounds like one I ought to have in my garden. I don’t protect my kale over the winter. This year everything survived, but then this year was abnormally warm. All the the Red Russian in my garden is starting to bolt and I think that one is not far off either.

  2. Norma Chang says:

    I don’t think Beedy’s Camden seeds are available at our local nursery, but I will definitely remember it for next year’s order. It is a very pretty plant and would look lovely in my flower beds but that would be inviting all the deer in the neighbourhood to come for a feast.

  3. Mike says:

    I glad they weathered the winter so well for you, they are indeed a nice plant with a surprisingly good flavor. I never did know about the story behind them so I’m glad you posted about that…very interesting.

  4. Liana says:

    Can’t wait to plant this!! I love kale, we live in ME so the hardiness will be ideal {and how nice that this is a Maine native, too:)}, and I’m always looking for new seed suggestions.

    Thanks!

  5. Jonathan says:

    That’s some mighty fine looking kale. We just planted ours on Saturday!

  6. Pingback: Saving Seeds from Kale | Our Happy Acres

  7. Cheryl says:

    I have grown Beedy’s Camden Kale for the last several years in my zone 3 Vt gardens and it has by far been my favorite kale. Fedco did not offer it this year and I would love to know where to get some seeds. Thanks

    • Shelly Faxvog says:

      Hi Cheryl,
      I’m in VT and have some seed if you’d like-
      although it is supposedly going to be offered this year by fedco
      But you never know! This is one I never want to be without:)

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