Preservation Director at Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah IA

I’m originally from Texas but have lived most of my life in Kentucky and Tennessee. I am now in Iowa serving as the Preservation Director at Seed Savers Exchange. I came here from Tennessee where I was the culinary garden manager for Blackberry Farm for 8 years. I studied anthropology with a focus on traditional ecological knowledge around farming as an undergrad and later went on to study agronomy. I’ve been gardening both urban and rural for 20+ years now and haven’t met a collard I don’t like.

Why are collards special?

Growing up in the south, collards have been on many a plate of mine. A fall garden just doesn’t feel complete without a good row of collards. There’s something rather comfortable about a mess of collard greens, both in the field and on the plate.

What’s Your Favorite Way To Eat Collards?

I like to cook them in a Dutch oven on the stove top. So a good amount of olive oil and a few cloves of garlic to start. When you smell the garlic, layer the pot with collards and salt to the top with a good bit of dried pepper flakes from the garden. Put the lid on. Just set it to low, let them sweet, and forget about them. The longer the better. A little caraway is a nice addition

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