This project was inspired by the work of Edward H. Davis and John T. Morgan. From 2003-2005 they traveled the Southeast and collected over 70 collard varieties from dedicated seed savers. Their work is detailed in the book, Collards: A Southern Tradition from Seed to Table. There is remarkable diversity in this unique collection! Most of the seed savers contacted by David and Morgan were over the age of 60 and did not intend to share their seeds with the next generation of seed savers. These varieties have special histories associated with them and a goal of this project to celebrate these stories and support the tradition of growing and sharing heirloom collards.
Since 2016 Seed Savers Exchange with help from partners across the country has taken on the task of regenerating the USDA Davis and Morgan accessions so that the seed can be widely available. Ira Wallace has been promoting collards for many years and was the main driving force behind the original creation of this project. With renewed enthusiasm the project was relaunched in Spring 2020 with a large community science collard trial in collaboration with SeedLinked.
Below is a portfolio of heirloom collards in the Seed Savers Exchange collection. We hope to continue to profile and add varieties to this list to increase awareness and use of these varieties. You can filter the collection using the categories below.