Somewhere South: It’s a Greens Thing (Full Episode)

(Episode #105 - April 24, 2020)  Vivian is invited to the annual homecoming celebration held by the Lumbee Indians in southeastern North Carolina. There Vivian is introduced to the Lumbees’ famous collard sandwich and gets the chance to see the unique way they fix their greens: sauteing thinly sliced greens in rendered pork or sausage grease. She’s struck by how the Lumbee method differs from the long-stewed pot of collards she grew up eating only about a 100 miles away. Her lessons with the Lumbees — the largest American Indian tribe east of the Mississippi river — prompts a discussion about the origin of Southern hospitality.

Vivian then takes a trip to Clarkston, Georgia, known as the “Ellis Island of the South” for welcoming thousands of refugees thanks to a community of refugee resettlement agencies. There Vivian meets a group of Burundi refugee farmers who grow crops that remind them of home, including cassava leaves, which they sell at an Atlanta farmers’ market. Also in Clarkston, Vivian meets teenagers whose families fled Southeast Asia and who are growing roselle in a community garden. Vivian is invited to share a meal with both the farmers and the teenage gardeners to see how they cook their greens.

Back in North Carolina, Vivian gets a saag paneer lesson from family friends in Cary, home to one of the most populous Indian Asian communities in the Southeast. Whether stewed or sauteed, pounded or stir-fried, Vivian sees first-hand what it takes to make a good pot of greens.