Wash the greens well, picking them over to remove any brown spots or blemishes. Drain well. Discard the discolored outer leaves and cut out the thick ribs. Tear the greens into pieces. Place the bacon strips in a large heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until it is translucent and the bottom of the pan is coated with the rendered bacon fat. Add the greens and the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the greens are tender, about 2 hours. Add the seasonings and serve hot. Top with traditional accompaniments, if desired.
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