When I think of the ideal climate for kale I think of the Northern California coastal areas. Kale is in the Brassica family of plants. Brassicas include broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. They are known to love cool weather and are typically grown as a winter crop in areas with mild winters.
Knowing this, I am surprised on how well kale grows here in Phoenix. I still have producing plants from last year. That means they survived the hot summer weather!
There is a tendency for all Brassicas to attract aphids when the weather gets warm, but that is an issue in all climates. A few aphids do not bother me; I’m not vegan. Besides, the aphids are an important food for finches. Right now I have at least one finch family raising their young on my kale aphids. They are a delight.
I have been enjoying the harvest and have discovered a good way to process kale so I can enjoy the leafy greens without the tough inner stems. I simply slice out the inner stem of the leaf and ferment them separately. The tender leaves then can be prepared as kale chips, steamed for salads, thrown into a stir-fry or stew, or frozen for smoothies.