Gainesville nonprofit works to raise lowly collard’s foodie profile


Melissa DeSa, left, the community programs director at Working Food, talks with Lennon Fisher, a fifth-generation farmer from Jonesville, about some of the unique varieties of collards being grown at the University of Florida Field and Fork Garden, as part of the Heirloom Collard Project, on Dec. 8 in Gainesville. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

On the planet of greens, one hardly ever hears of somebody claiming the collard as their favourite.

However an area group of produce consultants is hoping to boost the lowly collard’s profile, in hopes that folks will embrace it, plant it, domesticate it and prepare dinner it.

Throughout a nationwide and digital occasion, collards are the focus in Gainesville for per week of training and enjoyable. 

In collaboration with the Culinary Breeding Community, The Heirloom Collard Undertaking is placing collectively a four-day celebration, with visitor audio system, which runs by way of Thursday. 

“Any actual southerner will inform you that collards are like one of the best vegetable,” mentioned Melissa DeSa, group applications director at Working Meals. “A part of the fascination is that they’ve a protracted historical past right here in Gainesville.” 

Working Meals is a nonprofit group that works all through North Central Florida to domesticate and maintain a contemporary meals group. DeSa oversees the Southern Seed Heritage Collective. 

Collard Week might be crammed with meals historical past, seed stewardship, gardening, farming and cooking. The four-day occasion is supposed to teach farmers and gardeners on the significance of meals variety. 

“The extra variety we have now in our meals system the higher,” DeSa. “For me, that is about showcasing what number of several types of collards there are, and highlighting those that develop properly in Gainesville.” 

The Heirloom Collard Undertaking is a nationwide effort led by Southern Publicity Seed Change, Seed Savers Change, Working Meals and The Utopian Seed Undertaking to offer data on collards. 


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