Friday, January 2, 2015

Tree Collards

Last year I was given a pair of tree collard plants by my friend Curtiss.

They've been doing well through the cool weather and have a nice, crisp delicious flavor raw.

Tree collards are also perennial, which makes them an excellent addition to food forests and long-term garden plans.

After seeing the following video, I took three cuttings and stuck them in another bed where they seem to be rooting.

The real trick will be getting them through the summer alive. Dan's tree collards in the video are very abundant, feeding both he and his chickens.

Since you can eat them raw and cooked, unlike my much-beloved chaya, I think they'd be a quite versatile addition, particularly since they'll also serve as rabbit and chicken fodder. The flavor is much like kale, without the coarseness of true collards.

If I can get them to grow well year-round, I'll write a survival plant profile on tree collards. I'd like to see how they do planted out in the food forest with nothing but rainfall to keep them watered.

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At January 2, 2015 at 6:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a couple different green varieties and purple and they do well in the summer here in Orlando. It's a regular addition to my morning shake. It does well with minimal watering. They can even grow in Vegas. I grow them from cuttings a lot and there's better success growing in pots near a sunny window with a plastic bag over it until new leaves form. Takes 2 months to get some decent roots though for transplanting.

At January 2, 2015 at 6:43 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Orlando - great to know they're working here in Florida. Thanks for the propagation advice.

At January 3, 2015 at 12:14 PM , Blogger Leppy said...


I just got some starts from Bountiful Gardens and 2 out of the three seem to be doing well in the north side of the house while they are rooting. Where do you suggest is the best place for the tree collards? North South or East and West? It makes a huge difference how much sun they get as to where I plant them and I really want them to survive.
Thanks for any tips as I live in Orlando also.

At January 5, 2015 at 10:33 PM , Anonymous Andi said...

I would love to try these in my little forest garden. I will happily buy cuttings. I'm also interested in trying a different source for cassava since this winter's harvest sucked.

At January 5, 2015 at 11:14 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

I've got multiple types of cassava right now - I can hook you up. Hopefully the tree collards will also grow enough to be worth propagating more. They're still tiny.

BTW, that Mysore raspberry you gave me is looking great. Hoping to get fruit this year.


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