Archived Story

Proud of her collards

Published 10:05pm Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Maybe good health really does have something to do with vegetables.

Eighty-five-year-old Eddie Mae Ervin — better known to her neighbors in Lake Kennedy as The Collard Lady — might recognize the irony of her recent statement to a Suffolk News-Herald reporter that she likes to “give the elderly” around her community some of the collards she grows in her backyard, because she always has extra.

Then again, maybe there was no ironic element to the statement, even though most folks would consider the age of 85 to fall well within the generally accepted boundaries of elderliness. Maybe The Collard Lady is really onto something here.

Surely the benefits of eating vegetables are clearly established. They provide a fat-free route to vitamins and fiber, and they’re full of antioxidants and lots of other healthy stuff.

And there are clearly benefits to gardening, as well. Working in a garden is good exercise, it gets the gardener into the fresh air — and, as Eddie Mae Ervin’s little garden plot proves — sharing your extra produce is a good way to meet your neighbors.

Furthermore, Ervin has what seems almost a personal connection to her collard plants that surely helps keep her mind active. Her 30 plants (a reduction from previous years) occupy pots and ground space, and she is proud of each one.

Considering the fact that she’s still tending a garden with 30 collard plants at the age of 85, we think she deserves to be proud.


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