The thing that really makes collards key down here is their season. Most other crops get toasted by frost… but not these guys. You can stuff your freezer with these without much trouble. I put away at least forty pounds last year. We STILL have collards in the freezer. We even dried some to add to soups and omelets. Out of the brassica family, collards are right up there with radishes on the “ease of growing” scale. They’re tough, take the cold, grow and grow and grow, and rarely if ever will fail to give you a harvest.
Observe the image above and see how patchy the grass appears… and how lush the collard greens are growing. Unstoppable.
On the nutrition front, collards are also impressive. Check out these stats (images from NutritionData.com):
Low on vitamin K? Look no further.
Collards to the rescue!
Other bonuses to collards: young leaves are excellent in salads. Cooked and cut in strips, they can fill in for pasta in low-carb diets. (My wife makes a killer “collard lasagna.”) They can also be used to threaten children, as in “Clean your room or so help me I’m gonna serve collards again tonight!”
To plant the easy way, prepare a bare patch of ground, then scatter seeds, rake them around, and water for a week. Baby plants will come up everywhere. Thin as needed to give them space for growth and eat the thinnings. Harvest leaves as needed – the plants will take a lot of cutting.
And seriously – if you’re not growing these yet, set aside a patch. Spring or fall: collards are a must-have.
Latin Name: Brassica oleracea
Nitrogen Fixer: No
Exposure: Full sun
Part Used: Leaves
Method of preparation: Raw, boiled, steamed, dried.
Storability: Leaves can be dried/frozen
Ease of growing: Easy
Nutrition: Very good