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

By on March 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.
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