Fall Gardening with Garbage Plants

This year we decided to try year-round-gardening. This past spring/summer, the only things we managed to grow were tomatoes and marigolds and pumpkin plants. Today, I pulled the pumpkin plants we started a month or so ago being that the season has turned and is not providing them with the heat they need to grow. Nevertheless, we have thus far picked 3 beautiful pumpkins from our jungle out back from pumpkin seeds we did not plant. One more pumpkin is ripening on the vine and if we waded in the weeds, we might find more.
Today the children and I planted broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and collards. I also have spinach and mustard greens yet to plant. I bought young broccoli and cabbage plants while the rest of the vegetables, I purchased seeds. My 3 year old helped me pick out the plants while the rest of the crew stayed in the van with my husband. It was a neat garden place, complete with a lazy farm cat slumbering on the porch which thoroughly delighted my son. We made our selections and quickly made it back to the van. As he was getting back in the van, he joyfully announced, “We got brock-wee and garbage plants!!!”
While some may think cabbage to be a garbage plant, I have developed a love for the unique flavor, texture and versatility, as well as an appreciation for the healing properties of this cool weather vegetable. Everything from cole slaw, to sliced cabbage steamed along with squash, broccoli, and/or carrots, to shredded cabbaged added to salads, to making excellent healing poultices and compresses for infections; cabbage is amazing!
While collards and mustard greens will be a new addition to our family meal table, I decided to grow them for the new experience. Tonight I was reading in the Southern Living Garden Guide for Vegetables about collards: “Collards are a traditional Southern garden favorite for fall and spring.”
I figured that our small southern garden should at least give collards a chance to delight our table and palates and if not…..the rabbits will enjoy them.