But first, I harvested a bunch of the collard and kale leaves that remained on the plants (at least the ones that had not yet been infested with aphids).
I ended up harvesting 3 pounds and 13.5 ounces of the Flash collards and 2 pounds and 0.2 ounces of several kale varieties.
I was certainly not going to be able to eat this many fresh greens in the next few days, so I had to think about longer-term food preservation. I have never done any canning, and very little freezing (usually just of soups or ratatouille), so I had to do some investigating to see what made sense.
I determined it would be best for me to freeze the greens, but first, I had to blanch them to get rid of the enzymes that break down food so that the veggies will last longer and retain more of their nutritional value.
STEP 1 - First, I had to thoroughly wash the collards and kale
STEP 2 - Next, I de-ribbed the leaves by removing the tough stem
STEP 3 - Give the greens a rough chop
STEP 4 - Bring a pot of water to boil (about 2/3 full) and cook the greens in the pot for 2-3 minutes (3 minutes for collards and 2 minutes for other greens).
STEP 5 - Remove leaves from boiling water and submerge in ice water (in a large pot) for 2-3 minutes (I had a lot more ice in the pot to begin with, but most melted once I was on my third batch of blanching).
STEP 6 - Thoroughly drain the greens to remove excess water
STEP 7 - Put the greens in Ziplock freezer bags or seal with a vacuum sealer
It's kind of crazy how much greens cook down to. Almost six pounds of leaves made about nine cups of blanched greens. But, if I did everything correctly, these should last in the freezer for up to a year...much better than making myself sick of collards and kale in the next day or two.
If you have any great recipes that call for frozen collards/kale, let me know. I will likely find myself in need of a new recipe, or two!
My harvest totals so far this year include: