“What is true of plants is true of people and what plants a people eats tells you everything about their culture and who they are. For African Americans, that essential crop – our most cherished soul food - is collard greens … smothered with ham hocks!” While cooking up a pot of “new-school” collard greens for participants, Wanda muses about the history and deep parallels and connections between collards and Black folk. The plants and the people – both brought from Africa to the Americas during the slave trade – are models for our future health, resilience and survival as a culture. With a review of their healing properties and a recipe updated for maximum nutrition, participants will consider, discuss, taste (and likely debate) the merits of meatless greens, the extraordinary benefits of growing and eating one’s own food, and the power in community that can be reclaimed and recultivated in gardens again. ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR Wanda Stewart is an urban farmer and homesteader, educator, mother of twins and comrade to many in the movement to educate and inspire others to grow their own food and communities. She is committed especially to working with other African Americans to reframe our shared history, trauma, and greatness through the act of legacy gardening. As long time school administrator, Master Gardener and certified permaculturalist, Wanda blends her skills in recruitment, community outreach, program development with her passions for people and urban farming to model, inspire, and support whole life transformation - in individuals and in community – through the act of gardening and the lens of African American culture and traditions.