Brassica oleracea var. acephala

Collards are a close relative to kale and mustard greens, so similar in structure that they share the same scientific name with kale.  They do have a unique taste, however, that is more smoky and “green” than its often bitter cousins.  Collards are believed to be a descendent of wild cabbage that had been cultivated in Turkey before recorded history.  It is essentially a cabbage that doesn’t form a head.

Collards are a mainstay in the cuisine of the American South.  Black slaves, looking for a replacement for the cooking greens of their homelands, were drawn to collards as a replacement.  Collards are quite tolerant of heat, and so do well even in the South.  Collards are not nearly as popular here in the North, where milder summers allow for the production of cabbage and a limited interest in their close cousins.

Our collard greens are even more popular in the cuisine of cabbage worms, which have nibbled through a fair amount of our leaves. The worms have not replied to our request for recipes. But here’s our best advice from humans:

From July 24, 2009 Fox & Fawn Farm Newsletter

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