Snack: You may become a lifelong
collards fans after trying this traditional African-American favorite recipe. It
takes a long time to make, but it's worth it:
lb. smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, or smoked neck bones)
tsp. black pepper
tsp. garlic powder
T. seasoned salt
T. hot red pepper sauce
large bunch collard greens
In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add
everything but the collard greens and butter. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for
Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Because the
center stems aren't good to eat, remove the center stems by holding the leaf in
your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand. The tender
young leaves in the heart of the collards don't need to be stripped.
Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up,
and slice into 1/2 to 1-ince thick slices.
greens in pot with meat and add butter. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring
occasionally. When done, taste and add more seasonings if you wish.
Space for a garden dedicated to growing plants in
Grid paper to plan your seed purchases
Adult help planting and growing the garden
Get a group together to collect recipes from elders
or from cookbooks
Plan a cooking day to savor dishes from the plants
Perhaps give away or sell the rest?
Here's a fun way to combine gardening education with some multicultural
history and also nutrition education. Best of all, there's good eating ahead,
if you start an African-American Heritage Garden.
simplest way to do it is to order seeds from the D. Landreth Seed Co., the
oldest seed company in the United States. They're marking their 225th
anniversary with a special collection of African-American heritage seeds that
date back to people who came to America long, long ago from Africa and the
Order a catalog:
the Black people who first grew these seeds were coming here to be slaves. But
naturally, since they were literally being "transplanted," they brought along
the seeds of their favorite food plants from their gardens in order to
transplant them here, and grow the same plants once they got here.
also innovated with plants that were native to the American South, where they
were slaves. They learned to grow these new food crops, developed recipes for
them, and combined them with their own family favorites for some of the best
American cooking of all.
food plants produce fruits and vegetables that are among the most nutritious
and delicious of all food products.
in a typical African-American Heritage Garden include:
mustard and turnip
As the garden gets going, you can have fun
interviewing people who are Black and might have some traditional recipes to
share with you.
A meaningful use for the garden might be to make a
few traditional African-American dishes and have a party to introduce your
friends to these tastes and textures, give some of your extra fruits and
vegetables to a food pantry, and sell the rest of your garden bounty at your
church or to friends to raise money for next year's garden efforts.