Just Veggies with Ellen Wells

Crisp asparagus, mouthwatering tomatoes, crunchy carrots, even juicy berries. You don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate the value of good tasting vegetables. Ellen Wells, our Just Veggies blogger, talks about her experiences in starting them, planting them, growing them, and best of all, eating them. Yum, yum!

Collards: The Trending Leafy Green Blog Image

Collards: The Trending Leafy Green



 I saw a sign somewhere last week proclaiming that collards are the next kale. To me that statement was a bit loaded. Do they mean this previously low-cost green typical of Southern soul food cuisine would now become the cuisine du jour at fancy restaurants? Will it begin appearing in green smoothies in Hipster juiceries? Or, will collards just get some attention now that kale is old-ish news?

I’ve never eaten collards. It wasn’t something we grew on our farm, and if we didn’t grow it, then Mom wasn’t about to cook it. There are several Southern-influenced restaurants near me, and they do serve collards. However, this healthy green always seems to appear on the menu smothered in bacon or fat or bacon fat—not something this vegetarian will order, unfortunately.

Like kale, collards are a member of the cabbage family. They produce large-spanned leaves that have a slightly bitter, cabbagy flavor. And like kale, they also have thickish ribs that can be tough and are better off removed before cooking.

Collards prefer cool growing conditions but several varieties are now available that are somewhat heat tolerant. That means you can sow seeds directly into the ground in early spring and harvest in summer. You can also sow a second batch in summer for cutting in fall. And depending on your location you can likely sow another crop in fall for a late-winter harvest.

Here are some other growing tips:

- If you find collard transplants in the garden center, space them about a 1-1/5 ft. apart to provide ample elbow room.

- Make sure you water them well on a weekly basis. Too little water makes them tough.

- Expect to see the same insect hovering around (or eating) your collards as you would see around your cabbages. These include those darn cabbage worms and moths.

- Harvest leaves individually or cut the whole head of leaves at once depending on your needs.

- Extend your harvest in cold regions by erecting a small plastic tunnel for their winter protection. They can take some cold and apparently taste sweeter after a few chilly nights.




Bookmark and Share

Ellen Wells

Meet Ellen

When you are raised on a farm, you can't help but know a thing or two about gardening. Ellen Wells learned about agriculture from her parents/grandparents and then went an extra step by studying biology at college. She¹s now editor-at-large for Green Profit magazine, a trade publication for garden centers. Ellen also writes for the Boston Globe.


Related Entries


Previous Entries

Collards: The Trending Leafy Green
Rice Hulls As Soil Amendments
Mixing Veggies With Ornamental Flowers
Preparing a Garden Tool Bag for the Season
Spring Sowing With Seed Tape
Fertilize and Fuhgeddaboudit
The Scoop on Cukes
Modern Sprout Hydroponics
Small-sized Apple Tree for Urban Gardens
Apps in the Garden
Closing the Garden
Garden Lessons from 2013
The Basics of Growing Cabbage
Fall Application of Compost
Late-Season Tomato Plants
Black Cherry Tomatoes
Two Great Things About Broccoli
Planting Fall Seeds
A New Basil Mix
My First Batch of Worm Compost
A Take On the Florida Weave for Tomatoes
Growing Eggplant
Caging Cucumbers
Creating a Squash Trellis
Prolific Dill in the Garden
Reasons Why Basil Leaves Turn Yellow
The Garden Through May
Using Straw & Hay As Mulch
MobileGro for Small-Space Veggie Gardening
Moo Poo Tea
Trying Mushrooms at Home and In the Garden
Gardening As a Community
Get a Jump with Garden Tunnels
BrazelBerries Jelly Bean Blueberry
Veggies Get Vertical
BrazelBerries Peach Sorbet Blueberry for Compact Spaces
Time to Plant Peas
A Thornless, Compact Raspberry
Fish-Based Fertilizer
The Power of Earthworms
A Dozen Thoughts on Compost
Save Room for Watermelon
Growing Sprouts Indoors
Tips for Growing Herbs Indoors
The Pumpkin Patch
What to Do With Green Tomatoes? Soup!
Composting with a Composter
A Garden’s Resilience
Basil and Other Herbal Adventures
My End-of-Summer Planting of Fall Crops
Tomatoes and Powdery Mildew
Flea Beetles
The Importance of School Gardening
Transplanting Cabbage and Other Cole Crops
General Vegetable Garden Maintenance
Hilling Potatoes
Why Tomatoes Crack
Oregano: Learning a Lesson
Tomatoes: Seeds vs. Plants
Planting Leeks
Perfectly Parsley
Giving Garlic a Go
Chives: This Spring’s First Crop
Planting Potatoes
Bumper Crop Grafted Tomatoes
Sage: What to Do in Spring
Seed Terms Simplified
Early Arrivals: Garlic, Chives & Shallots
Sowing Arugula Indoors
Try These Garden Veggies in 2012
Try These Garden Veggies in 2012
Plant When the Weather
Burpee Youth Garden Award
Broccoli Basics
Of Thyme and the Tie
First Frost: What Will Survive & How to Prepare
New to Me: Kohlrabi
Vermont Cranberry Beans
Gearing Up for Slowing Down
Time to Clean the Pruners
Squash Vine Borer Causing “Wilt”
Blossom End Rot on Tomatoes
Powdery Mildew on Cucurbits
Soft Rot on Early Zucchini
Homemade Insecticidal Soap
Using Hose-End Sprayers for Fertilizing
Tomato Maintenance
The Mighty ‘Mato
Hot Days, Cool Soils
Succession Sowing and Planting
Blueberries in the Veggie Garden
Rotating Those Crops
Seed Starting Update
Finding Space to Start Seeds Indoors
Creating a Strawberry Patch
Time to Move the Rhubarb
Starting Seeds in Cow Pots
Pre-Spring Garden Clean-up and Finally, a Cold Frame!
A Little Veggie Coaching
Fresh Parsley in January
Comments
 
No comments yet.