Shetland Cabbage/Kale is the oldest known Scottish local vegetable variety and has been grown on the Shetland Islands since at least the 17thC. Used as a vegetable, the outer or dropped leaves are also used as winter fodder for cattle and sheep. In the last 30 years there has been a very steep decline in this landrace crop known locally as Shetland Kale.
Due to the extreme weather conditions on Shetland, cabbage seeds were traditionally planted in plantie crubs, small circular stone-walled enclosures for protection and the micro climate they created. These structures can still be seen all over the islands, most now in ruins.
This is a seasonal product and grows well on allotments. It is delicious & versatile – speaking from personal experience!
Seeds available from Mackenzies Farm Shop, Shetland
photo: Wendy Barrie, the kitchen garden at Burland Croft