Friday, August 14, 2015

Collard Shack Revisited

[Note: This post, prepared originally for the NC Folklife Institute's NCFood blog, is hosted on the institute’s website, with excerpts and a link to the website posted here.]

A trip to the small town of Ayden is usually for wood-cooked barbecue because it’s the home to two of the state’s premier BBQ establishments – Skylight Inn and Bum’s Restaurant. However, when I traveled there, I was searching for The Collard Shack as much as I was for chopped whole hog barbecue.

Yellow cabbage collard bedding
 plants come in multiples of 25 at
The Collard Shack.
In 2011 when David Cecelski wrote about The Collard Shack in one of his legacy posts on this blog, he peaked my interest in its yellow cabbage collards. This type of collard is considered milder and more tender than most collards....

As a novice collard grower, I sought the wise counsel of Benny Cox, who manages The Collard Shack and advises beginners as well as expert gardeners. Talking to him was the highlight of the visit. He’s very entertaining and obviously loves his plants. His years of experience in the collard fields are evident in the lines and hue of his face. The bundle of 25 plants that I bought were light green with moist root balls and lengthy but fragile stems about four inches long. Cox explained how far apart to plant the collards and showed how much of the stems should be covered with soil.

Continue reading at the NCFood blog ...

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