A friend once gave me a garden ornament, a cross with "Bless This Garden" embossed upon it. For a long time the ornament was nestled into foliage in the front garden, but Lou recently moved it to the vegetable plot. It is between two raised beds, and the cross gives the area the disturbing look of a graveyard.
I have decided the cross can stay. My veggies need all the blessings they can get.
Currently we are growing collard greens. Lots of collard greens.
If you don't like collard greens, you should eat them anyway. They are high in many vitamins, including Vitamins A, C, K, and E. They are an excellent source of fiber, folate and omega 3 fatty acids. They lower cholesterol, help to prevent cancer and heart disease and reduce inflammation in the body.
Fresh, young leaves are best. Rinse well under cold water. There are many recipes, but collards should never be overcooked because this can give a bitter taste. We prepare ours this way:
Add to a large pot of collards a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, a bit of salt to taste, and - the magic ingredient - a tablespoon of sugar. (If one is feeling decadent, skip the salt but add a chunk of pre-cooked ham to the pot.) Cover and cook in an inch or so of water, until the leaves are wilted. Delicious!
So you see I am a fan of collards. But there are just the two of us. Last year Lou planted eight collard plants, and he thought that was not sufficient.
"Do you think twelve plants will be enough?" he asked me this year.
Collards are the type of plants that you cut the leaves and new ones regrow. "Oh, I'm sure twelve plants will be more than enough."
He came home with twenty-four.
The plants are flourishing. We are eating our first harvest this evening. Lou is in the kitchen preparing them, and they smell wonderful. I have told my friends to line up, as we should have plenty to share.