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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Great Kale Shortage Of '16

I don't ordinarily write about economics but this month has been exceptional. We have, for some time, been warned of a growing shortage of Kale seeds, leading to a shortage of growing Kale --or was it of growing short Kale? I don't recall exactly, and economists stayed quiet about it, which is ominous and unusual but I was able to find some snippets from the news: 
Medical Daily-Jan, 2016---"Like all superfoods, kale exploded in popularity when nutritionists started to reveal its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory ..."
"... the demand for kale has gotten so huge it's in danger of outstripping its supply – kale farmers are having problems...."---Iowa Now-Mar, 2016.

Vogue.com-Mar, 2016---"...Making up for any shortage of juicy drama was the three-course meal that followed, complete with Tuscan kale salad and sea bass with risotto."

So I consulted one of Norma's seed packets and called "Information":
  
"Information."

"Yes, could you connect me with Colonel 'Ragged Jack' Rizada, please?"

"Of course, one moment please."

"Thanks, Poppy."

"Bueno!"

"Is this Col. Rizada?"

"Si."

"Sir, I need some information about the worldwide Kale shortage."

"Lo Siento. Creo que usted tiene el número de teléfono incorrecto, señor."

I thanked him but knew I hadn't called the wrong number --his name is right there on the seed packet-- so I called the opposite direction, North!

"Hello, Canada?"

"Speaking."

"Ragged Jack says he's at a wrong number!"

"Is this about the Kale Shortage?"

"Yeah!"

"Thanks, Geo.! It's a crisis then. What should we do?"

"Sell off all your Gold Reserves right away!"

And they DID!!!  (Bank of Canada, March,----"The weekly Reserves data will be posted on the Bank of Canada's Web site ... Gold, 0..".)

I didn't mean to cause this strange chain-reaction. I was only trying to help. There is a difference, I suppose, between deliberate hindrance and no help at all, but only in motive --my intentions were good. I get nervous on the phone and just blurted out something I never thought Canada would do. Ah well, gardeners who give out financial advice to large countries "aft gang agley" (which is how Robert Burns said "Down the hall on the left."). 

I have decided to stop being a Hobbyist-Economist and return to Gardening. Too much danger in economics. There is an old saying among even older gardeners: You can flirt with disaster but it's lousy at returning your affections.


31 comments:

  1. Gardening is more productive and rewarding than economics too. Both too often involve blood, sweat and tears, but I would sooooo much rather receive fruit, vegetables and flowers for my labours than Bitcoins. Or other nebulae.

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    1. You and me both, EC. And, because neither of our countries accept Bitcoins as tax payment, I think we're doing that right already.

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  2. I'm surprised Captain Ragged jack even answered his phone what with all questions surrounding his role in the great kale shortage. I did hear something about him buying up a lot of gold though. Maybe he will put it to good use and correct the kale situation.

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    1. Ragged Jack Rizada always answers his phone. His proximity to the treasure of the Sierra Madre makes him sensitive to inquiries. Anything that devalues gold is a threat to poor Ragged Jack!

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  3. I have not tasted kale since I was a child. My mother made me eat it because poor godless children in Russia were starving to death. I hate the taste of kale and no matter how you cook it with all your herbs and sauces, I will always hate it. We get a lot of kale at the food bank where I work and when people ask how to cook it, I tell them my pat answer, sauté in oil, garlic, pepper and anything else you have handy. I have no idea but I want people to try healthy food. Maybe they will like it and that would be good. However, it will never happen in my house as we are very busy consuming cauliflower; the new best food of 2016.

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    1. I do believe every set of parents inflicted a different nation of starving children upon their persuasive tabletop arguments. Norma says every vegetable is good for us and convinced our children. Cauliflower is actually quite nice. Thanks for not mentioning eggplant.

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  4. I'm wondering if it would be a viable endeavor to cultivate boerenkool crops in Tennessee. I admittedly know nothing about gardening or cultivation....

    ....and for that matter, I've never knowingly eaten kale. But I've often eaten my words.

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    1. Probably best to check local agricultural recommendations, also ordinances. Shortage has caused some states to enact laws against disguising other plants (or oneself) as kale, especially for monetary gain.

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  5. Ah kale, lovely stuff as long as it's cooked. Lightly.

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    1. It's forgiving stuff. I find it quite good even if we make a hash of it.

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  6. So be careful Geo. Your little butterfly wings have released a veritable storm way up north.

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    1. Indeed, one thing leads to another, even when it's the other way around.

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  7. I gave up on kale after I read it had to be massaged for ten minutes and left to rest before making it into a salad.

    *I* don't get massaged and left to rest before dinner, and my food isn't going to, either!

    (If that info on kale in salad is wrong, please let me know, O Kale-Eating One.)

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    1. O Jenny, I hadn't heard of this! Neither has Norma. So I read some recipes and found some suggested 2 or 3 minutes of kneading, like bread dough. However these may come from states outlawing 10-minute kale massages as excessive --much as some religions frown upon cheese-fondling. I would recommend eating kale and THEN getting massaged for 3 minutes, or kneaded --everybody needs to feel kneaded.

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    2. You are so right about feeling kneaded. My cats agree also, and they're ready to help with that :)

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  8. Do you think you could talk Canada into simply absorbing Vermont? The presidential election is making me nervous.

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    1. They're willing, Squid, but only if we throw Kentucky into the deal. I suspect Canada's a bit embarrassed about its impulsive gold auction and would like The United States Bullion Depository at Ft. Knox. Politics give everybody the jumps.

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  9. Stick to gardening, unless you can figure how to stake a long position on kale futures, or a short one if it is only a fade.

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    1. I don't know. Is margin-trading anything like planting herbaceous borders? Yes, I better stick to gardening.

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  10. I love this saying, Geo.: "You can flirt with disaster but it's lousy at returning your affections."
    In our family we have a saying "But he only meant well!" - which is a way to say that the outcome is - disaster.
    As to Kale: I know it belongs to the Super-food - but it's not my (cup of tea) plate of kale - so if anybody needs I will send a few seed packages I have hoarded.

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    1. Dear Brigitta, From recent public enthusiasm over Super-Foods, wallet-sized packets of kale seed may become the new international currency. Best hoard them a while longer.

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  11. We have even substituted kale for spinach in our quiche. Good stuff!

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    1. Hi Jono! I too have noticed kale appearing in more and more of our cooking and find it and spinach can share a dish without competing with each other.

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  12. It's okay Geo, At least you didn't suggest they build a wall to keep America out. I like Kale and pineapple smoothies. And maybe...coincidence? I've lately noticed it is harder and harder to find frozen pineapple. And yet, fresh pineapple abounds. It boggles the mind.

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    1. Thanks, Chicken. Construction on a wall that would please everybody would really never end --a sure-fire perpetual government employment project, like TSA. Frozen pineapples are in short supply because they come from frozen pineapple trees, which are rare.

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  13. Kale, one of the banes of my childhood! Fie on it, and send it back from whence it came!
    Spinach, on the other hand...
    :D I love your posts.
    x

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    1. Kale may be super-food but spinach is Popeye food, that's good enough for me too --and my posts love you right back, Austan.

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  14. Not sure what it is. But for a green kale is one of my favor. My husband say it girly food. Most of my lady friends love it....Coffee is on

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    1. Near as I can tell, it's a kind of cabbage and very popular right now, even among husbands.

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  15. If kale would disappear forever it would be A-okay with me. It's right up there with other scary vegetables like Brussel sprouts, beet tops, and yellow waxed beans. My sister-in-law made a kale winter said for Christmas dinner. Honest to God ~ She put on a pair of kitchen latex gloves, sprinkled a little oil on the stemless kale, and gently massaged the kale for several minutes. Then into the salad it went. I ate it with a smile on my face (because I was taught to graciously eat anything put in front of me from beaver to seal flippers to kale). I was so side-tracked by the terrors of kale that I almost forgot to mention how funny this post was!

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