Swiss Chard - a favorite of mine
Swiss Chard is one of the "greens" that I enjoy. In general, greens are versatile and delicious, and are some of the best vegetables to grow. If you haven't tried greens, you really should. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and add variety to your dinner plate.
Chard in an important plant for nearly any vegetable garden where an abundance of good nutrition is of interest. It provides a variety of colors and flavor, and offers the home vegetable gardener with near trouble-free cultivation. Here is a good look at a vegetable that is definitely one of the best vegetables you can grow.
A relatively tall leafy green, chard grows in bunches. Part of the same family as beets, but having very little resemblance to beets, it looks a lot like a small crinkled palm that grows about 12 to 18 inches high.
Chard is harvested by cutting off the outside leaves near the base of the plant and allowing it to regenerate more stems and leaves from inside the core. It can be harvested early for small stems and tender leaves, or allowed to mature into larger stems and leaves that can be chopped up and used for steamed or sauteed greens.
It tastes a bit like spinach, and you eat both stems and leaves. It can be used raw in salads, cooked with onions and garlic as hot greens served with vinegar, or used like lettuce in a sandwich.
Cut the stems into small pieces and cook them first since they require a little more time, then add the leaves. When the leaves cook down a bit, you're ready to serve.
This hardy plant comes in several colors -- white stem, red stem, and rainbow. Swiss chard is easy to grow and tolerates a wide range of weather. It can be grown with great success in spring, summer and fall. And, with a little covering you can extend the harvest into the winter.
If you enjoy greens, you're bound to be pleased with chard. My favorite is the red stemmed Rhubarb Chard for a rich flavor and attractive plant. Fordhook Giant is a white stemmed chard that is an abundant producer, and is part of my garden every year.
The best part about Swiss Chard is that it will keep you fed as long as you keep it watered. It does its level best to keep you in rich dark greens over an extended season, and asks for very little attention in return. That's why I consider it one of the best vegetables in my garden.
Done with Swiss Chard, back to Growing Vegetables