I used to live in North Carolina. Can’t say I liked it especially – I’m a New Mexico native, and all those trees in one place together with all that humidity and all those southern accents and all that sugar in their sweet tea coupled with the fact that I lived on a rural lane, at the end of which was the barn where the local KKK met (I kid you not). . .well, it just wasn’t home, if you know what I mean.
But let me tell you what they have in North Carolina that we don’t here in New Mexico. Rain. Rich Soil. Gardens that rival anything you’ve ever seen. It made me a little crazy – did you know you have to work in the yard EVERY single weekend or it will take over? Ever seen kudzu?
What I loved growing (and eating) was collard greens. I’d only seen them in the grocery store here, or on my Grandma’s table, and I was in love with the plant that grew out of my little seedling in Asheboro. Bushy, rich, green. It was beautiful. I just assumed that something that effortless and SOUTHERN wouldn’t grow at all in New Mexico.
Wrong. If you want a tall, healthy carefree and delicious green, plant some collard greens. Heck, they even come back next year, like a perennial. These photos? They’re last year’s collard greens, flowered out this Spring. They even looked good when it snowed. Then they died back for a month or two and put on thick leaves again.
I’m telling you, they’re foolproof New Mexico vegetable plants. And steamed with jalepenos and garlic, they’re better here than they were in NC. Just like everything else!