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Saving Collard Greens
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Regardless of when or how they arrived stateside, collard greens flourished in Southern gardens. 20 main varieties, from the Yellow Cabbage collard to the Old Timey Green, established themselves as garden favorites. But after World War II, many Americans moved away from both their farmland and their agricultural lifestyles. One victim of this shift was the collard green. With fewer people farming, variety after variety dropped off the map, leaving only five types that could easily be found—Georgia Green, Champion, Vates, Morris Heading, and Green Glaze.

The Farmers and Gardeners Saving the South’s Signature Green

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Posts: 31297 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I cook collards often, but didn’t know there were so many varieties. I’d love to know how they differ in flavor.

“Learn to milk whatever success you’ve had. You can keep doing the same thing over and over as long as you have a sense of humor about not having a new idea.” -- John Waters

Posts: 12501 | Location: The outer burrows | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 31397 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought some collard seeds from the outfit mentioned here, the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. They got them from an elderly Black man named William Alexander. They grew well with no attention and tasted good.

There was a living history museum at an old homestead near where we lived in Gainesville. Muffin used to love to go there and play with the washboard and hand pump. We also enjoyed events like the day they made sorghum syrup every year. They said that in north Florida, the three staple crops were collards, sweet potatoes, and corn. Between them, they cover a lot of essential nutrients. Properly stored, sweet potatoes will last all winter, even in a warm winter climate. Collards will grow all winter in north Florida. And dried corn and cornmeal keep well.

Collards and sweet potatoes produce a lot and don't take a lot of care in that climate. Corn is more finicky, but I guess they could give it the extra time and fertilizer they saved on the collards and sweet potatoes.

Mary Anna Evans

Posts: 14891 | Location: Florida | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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