The perennial purple tree collard is an ideal crop for busy OUSD school gardeners. Here are just 8 reasons you should consider planting these at your school:
These plants are perennial so you do not have to replant them every year. Once established, these plants may survive a summer with little or no water. If your school has abandoned raised vegetable-beds, you get them back into production in purple tree collards without the time commitment needed to grow annual vegetables.
A 4'x8' bed of purple tree collards will provide enough greens for a class of 30 3 times a year.
These greens are especially delicious after a cold-spell. Frost sweetens them up.
Purple tree collards are rich in calcium, fiber, anti-oxidants, and vitamins A, C, and K.
(5) Local and Famous:
Perennial purple tree collards were probably brought to the Bay Area by African-American migrants from the South during the 1940's. The East Bay strain of perennial purple tree collards was singled out as the best-tasting perennial brassica (cabbage family crops) in the nation by perennial vegetable expert Eric Toeinsenmeier in his book Perennial Vegetables
. (6) Cycle of Abundance:
Perennial purple tree collards are very easy to propagate (make new plants). You simply take a 6-8" long stem cutting and stick it in moist soil. It will grow it's own roots and start to leaf out within 2 months. Once you have an established purple tree collard, you can take cuttings and give away dozens of new plants each year. This sets up a cycle of abundance.
For more information about the perennial purple tree collard, including a recipe, please click on this link: PPTC Fact Sheet
For information about rooting a perennial purple tree collard, please click on this link:PPTC Rooting Instructions