In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and National Ag Week

by | Mar 17, 2010


Cabbage grown at the Lower Coastal Plain Research Station

Since today is all things green in honor of St. Patrick, here are some random, loosely-related green facts about North Carolina and our connection to greenery and Irish traditions:

  • The N.C.  Green Industry comprises the nursery, greenhouse, Christmas tree, and turfgrass/sod industries. These crops represent more than $1.2 billion in farm income.
  • There are more than 2,000 certified and registered nurseries spread throughout all 100 counties.
  • North Carolina produces more than 12 percent of real Christmas trees in the United States.
  • Irish potatoes are a $25.5 million crop in North Carolina. Most are purchased by manufacturers to make potato chips. But you can also find them fresh in markets in June and July.
  • The 2009 cabbage crop was worth more than $16 million in cash receipts.
  • Pasquotank County is the largest producer of Irish potatoes and cabbage in the state.
  • North Carolina also produces other leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens. Leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins A and C and contribute calcium, iron, fiber and other nutrients.
  • Greens are very low in calories and sodium. For instance, one cup of chopped raw spinach has just 14 calories. A one-cup serving of cooked collards has just 38 calories. All greens are free of fat and cholesterol.
  • Other green vegetables: cucumbers, green beans, green peppers, zucchinis, jalapenos, etc. are available fresh during the summer months. To find a farmers market near you, go to
  • The N.C. Farm-to-School Program sent 2,272 cases of fresh red and green cabbage and 1,728 cases of broccoli crowns to participating schools in 2009.
  • The N.C. State Fair offered the Green N.C. exhibit at the 2008 and 2009 fairs.  It will be back again this year.