Sow: delicious collard greens


You may remember the giant pile of collard greens that I harvested a few weekends ago. They covered our kitchen table. When I broke them down, they filled four large storage containers.

We have been eating collard greens raw most of the time since they were harvested. They are awesome in salads, great on sandwiches and burgers because you can cut them to perfect size and they have a nice crunch and pretty dark green color. But everything has a shelf life even when it’s only transported across the yard to the sink then into the fridge. And I figured it was time that we use up the collards.

Neither Bruce nor I ate collards as kids at home. I ate them as part of school lunches in Savannah, Georgia, but they weren’t served very frequently. The kids born in the South liked them, but the “Yankee”* kids didn’t. Well, except for me.

I grew them this winter because I had heard that they make you feel like a master gardener because they grow so well. They are also quite lovely to look at, adding tons of visual interest to the urban farm.


Although I never did the math, since the plants were around $2 each and I grew four plants that gave us food weekly for at least 4 months, I think that was a pretty good deal.

As an adult I’ve eaten them slow cooked with ham or bacon in restaurants, but never made them that way myself.

So today I did and they were delicious. Bruce liked them a lot too. They don’t look like much:


But if you make them, you won’t be sorry. Here’s the recipe I used:

Even if you don’t grow your own collards, it’s also an inexpensive side dish especially if you’re like me and have a ham bone left from Easter dinner in the freezer and use that instead of the bacon and ham hock used in the recipe.

We’ve got plenty of leftovers for later in the week too. Of course, this is another fine example of how growing your own food is like printing your own money. So it’s no surprise that on New Year’s Day, many southern folks eat collard greens to bring wealth for the year to come. The taste certainly enriched our Monday night supper.

Happy eating, y’all!

*according to, a Yankee is anyone not from the south. The Grammar Belle herself considers both Canadians and Californians to be Yankees.

Sow: headlamp harvest #2

Happy Friday! Not only is it Friday it’s also it’s Robbie Burns Day (an excuse to drink scotch) and the Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm seems to have rebounded from the frosty nights. HOORAY!

Today is a good day! I did another headlamp harvest of fresh produce for our lunches. Here is some photographic evidence:

cilantro -- finally getting bushy

spinach — finally getting bushy


my trusty headlamp



collard greens by headlamp light and flash


lettuce growing like weeds


the little washtub on wheels is now a lettuce farm for real! lots of crazy colors too


today’s harvest (a bit dark): collards, spinach, red romaine, misc leaf lettuce, a little bok choi, mustard greens, lots of kale


lunch salad of mixed greens ready for toppings (like that yellow pepper in the frame)

You may notice that the gardens are looking a bit shaggy and are in need of some serious TLC. I’ll have to save my puttering and planning (and seed planting) for Sunday because tomorrow I’ll be judging the Small Market ADDYS (advertising contest in the US) for the fine club located in San Angelo, Texas in the morning. Judging creative is a lot of fun—and I’ll get to meet some people from other agencies. I’ve helped out for the past 4 years so

My afternoon will be spent back at North Haven Gardens for a 3 hour class in Tomato Growing. Yes, another tomato class! This one is taught by Leslie Halleck, a professional Horticulturalist. I’m going to make sure that I have lovely tomatoes this year, by golly!

And while I’m not of Scottish descent, Bruce is, so I’ll leave you some words from a traditional Burns Supper:

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a haggis!