WNC Ultracross Collards


Ultracross Collards (Brassica oleracea var. viridis): an extremely diverse, beautiful, and cold-tolerant collard mix that is ever-adapting and evolving, so you should expect a lot of new things in each planting. The original parent population of 21 heirloom varieties began in 2020. 

Seed keeper: Pat Battle, Living Web Farm, Mills River, NC

Germination Rate: (99%)

Packet Weight: 3g (approx 900 seeds per packet)

Shipping is charged at a flat rate of $5 per shipment, so order as many packets as you like! Note: SEEDS WILL SHIP THE LAST WEEK OF MARCH.




In 2020, The Utopian Seed Project grew 21 collard varieties as part of a nationwide collard trial for The Heirloom Collard Project. Eight other sites each grew the same 20 varieties, (we also grew the variety ‘Lottie’ – bringing their heirloom total to 21.) The Heirloom Collard Project is working with a large collection of heirloom collard varieties collected across the southeast during a number of plant-collecting trips in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It’s a multi-organization collaboration with partners across the USA, including our legendary friend and colleague Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange — and “godmother” of the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance.

During the winter of 2020, collards at The Utopian Seed Project grow-out in North Carolina (at Franny’s Farm in Leicester) survived lows of 8°F. Seeds were collected from the surviving plants in spring/summer 2021. Collards are obligate outcrossers, meaning they are incapable of self-pollinating. For saving seeds of pure varieties, this means large isolation distances. However, if your aim is large genetic diversity, the collard plant is willing to collaborate. The 21 varieties were planted in a randomized two-block design, so we can be assured that there was a high degree of inter-variety cross-pollination. These seeds represent massive genetic diversity, firstly because the original heirloom collards are genetically diverse, and secondly because they’ve cross-pollinated with each other. Our friend Melony Edwards, a collard grower, Heirloom Collard Project participant, and Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance member, described them as an “ultracross”: this is not a technical term (that would be “composite cross”), but Chris and the team likewise think “Ultracross Collards” captures the spirit of these amazing plants!

The original parents included: William Moore, Fulton Stroud, Tabitha Dykes, Fuzzy’s Cabbage Collard, E.B. Paul, Jernigan Yellow Cabbage Collard, Yellow Cabbage Collard, Georgia, White Cabbage Collard, Willis Collard Greens, Ole Timey Blue, Georgia Blue Stem, North Carolina Yellow, McCormack’s Green Glaze, White Mountain Cabbage Collard, Green Glaze, Miss Annie Pearl Counselman, Brickhouse Old Collard, Lottie Collard, Vates, Georgia Southern. However, we are now 3 years into saving seeds from this extremely diverse, beautiful, and cold-tolerant collard mix that is ever-adapting and evolving, so you should expect a lot of new traits in each planting.

The Appalachian Seed Growers Collective

Things that are important to us:

  • Regionally Adapted – our seeds have been grown and saved in place for at least three years by farmers in the region.
  • Regionally Important – as a regional seed collective we are open to growing and stewarding seeds that have regional historic or cultural significance.
  • Seed Grower Community – we want to create community and opportunities for people to become seed growers in Southern Appalachia, including new farmers.
  • Seed Grower Economics – as a collective we are advocating for better seed contract prices and terms for our collective and sharing the economic risks of growing seeds.
  • Valuing Land and Labor – our internal economics pays growers for their time and land use in growing seeds, not for the quantity of seeds they produce. This eliminates inherent risks in growing seeds and varietal variations in yield, but also allows growers to select for quality over quantity.

SEED SALES WILL RUN UNTIL MARCH 15TH OR UNTIL WE RUN OUT OF STOCK. ALL ORDERS WILL BE HAND-PACKED BY OUR COLLECTIVE THE THIRD WEEK OF MARCH AND SHIPPED BY THE LAST WEEK OF MARCH. Your seed purchasing directly supports the work of the collective and is very much appreciated in these early stages!

Información adicional

Peso 0.00661387 lbs


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