It’s sad to see the darker nights come back. I could quite happily cope with lower temperatures as long as there were lighter nights. There is something about darkness which makes you want to close the blinds and settle down to a sedentary evening in front of the TV.
Not all dark is bad though, three tomatoes I have been growing are black varieties. Black Cherry, Black Opal and Black Russian. There is surprisingly little difference in taste and looks between the two black cherry tomatoes, they are both sweet and very nice.
Black Russian is a different matter, it’s big, dark red and looks like a big squidgy pin cushion. Like some of my tomatoes this year, I don’t feel they are quite so tasty and I have to be grateful for getting delightfully sweet cherry tomatoes, which ripen earlier, as the larger varieties are just beginning to show colour now.
Midnight F1, is a fairly dark, green-skinned courgette and very tasty, especially if sliced lengthwise and cooked with a very simple blend of thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, drizzled with olive oil and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes. Plenty of recipes on the internet if you need them.
Black Kale, Nero, with its upright leaves blends well with the more rosette-shaped, Dwarf Curly Kale. I use either of them for making soup. There is no comparison with the supermarket’s rough-cut variety. There is a lot more flavour to home-grown kale.
Kale is another ‘superfood’, with a long list of benefits, and according to one report, contains more iron than its equivalent weight in beefsteak and more calcium than milk. High in vitamin K, it’s thought to lower the risk of glaucoma. Sadly for those in need of anticoagulants, they are advised to give kale a miss as vitamin K encourages the blood to clot. Also to be avoided by anyone suffering from hypothyroidism, as it has a high goitrogen content, and may interfere with iodine intake.
Kale chips are popular at the moment, drizzled with olive oil and baked in an oven until crisp, are a healthy snack, although I think they might be an acquired taste.
There is always a plan ‘B’, so if you can’t eat it yourself, you can feed it to the ducks. It’s more nourishing for them than throwing them bread.