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Origin of "Greens"

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Tony Melton told us recently that the greens which were planted months ago are sitting in the field waiting for rain. Well, we’ve finally gotten that much needed heavenly precipitation, and from Tony's extensive knowledge, our South Carolina collards and kale should quickly rebound from their slow start. Staples of southern cooking, collards are thought by some to be of African origin as they were a large part of the traditional African-American and by extension Southern cuisine. But actually, these plants are descendants of wild cabbages first originating in the Mediterranean area,  as they must have cold weather in order to switch over into their mature growth stage and set seeds that can be collected for next years’ crop. They are biennial plants, with one season spent in a vegetative, comparatively compact form, before bolting, when they flower and then produce seeds. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.