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Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

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Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  happyfrog on 3/8/2010, 10:38 am


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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  happyfrog on 3/8/2010, 10:39 am

I should explain - the milk jugs have the bottoms cut off and are effectively working as mini greenhouses to make the swiss chard seeds warmer and hopefully germinate even faster. . . Smile

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swiss chard

Post  choksaw on 3/8/2010, 1:07 pm

since i started gardening i have seen alot of people and literature on swiis shard and kayle two vegatbles as a child i was never introduced to and never even knew they existed until recently. What are they how do you eat/prepare them.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  happyfrog on 3/8/2010, 1:28 pm

i'm learning, too. have no idea what to do with either plant once they get big.

the kale, we've just been pulling leaves off and eating it in the garden, lol.

have never seen/eaten swiss chard so it will be an all around learning experience.

the worst that will happen is we end up with more compost materials because we don't like it.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/8/2010, 1:37 pm

Swiss chard is one of my favourite veggies. I harvest around the edge of the plant, so it lasts forever (gardenwise). My current batch was planted last August and is still going strong. Low to mid 20 freezes burned it some, but it's come back strong. It can be put into salad when young (under 6"). I use the larger leaves like spinch for cooking (strip from the ribs) -- has a tad stronger flavour than spinach, but is still mild. And then the ribs -- ah, a real delight. I cut them into 5-6" lengths and pretend they are asparagus with hollandaise sauce or my lemon-dill dressing. They have a slight bitter taste to them, but not as much as mustard or other strong greens. I really, really love chard. And the bright lights variety is so much fun -- all different colour ribs. Your kids would love them.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  mckr3441 on 3/8/2010, 1:50 pm

Great picture BettyAnn! Today I went out and hand scooped snow off one box! The soil is still frozen but should be pliable soon. It's in the sun.

Then I called my local garden shop and lo and behold they have vermiculite! Five 4cf bags of it. I flew out the door and was there in a New York minute! I was so tempted to buy all five (oh, I really should have ) but I only took two. I told them they better order more cuz I'll be back and so will my friends!

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sounds good for a stew

Post  SirTravers on 3/8/2010, 1:51 pm

It sounds like the swiss chard stalks would make a colorful and tasty addition to a stew....now the gears are turning. Also are you serious? It can handle the cold that well? The thought of having fresh veggies in the winter makes me love finding all the cold weather crops y'all keep bringing up!

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  happyfrog on 3/8/2010, 2:20 pm

sir travers i have no idea - but i just recently read a book - four season harvest by eliot coleman and he's in zone 5 (similar to me) and he grows stuff all the year long

just need some cold frames.

i'm thinking that the boxes that are thawed now and able to be planted in are gonna be good candidates for winter gardening. . .

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/8/2010, 2:21 pm

Mmmmm I fell in love with the chard the first time I chopped them up to mix with the ricotta mix that is put into Lasagna. SO much better then spinach.

It is a nice sauté veggie to serve with toasted walnuts, dry fruit (raisins cranberries or whatever), onion (red is pretty, shallots are yum-o-lishises) garlic and parm over brown rice or pasta.

Also good sauté with just olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper over risotto.

Nice added to a potato soup. Try it added to what you usually put into a quiche or frittata. After slicing and washing the leaves, leave them wet, toss them into a fry pan and cook quickly (higher heat, short time….they should say bright green!) with fresh garlic, olives, lemon juice and olive oil. Chard can stand up to some strong flavors.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  bullfrogbabe on 3/8/2010, 10:05 pm

Isn't chard bitter tasting? As a child I remember trying some raw off the plant and found it extremely strong tasting. Perhaps I am mixing it up with something else but I remember it being very colourful. I like spinach, whatever it was I tasted was much stronger. Does chard have different flavours in different soils?

Funny what you remember from childhood sometimes. My recollection of the strong flavour is so vivid that I can almost taste it now! I'll have to try it again sometime to see if this is what it was and to see if my adult taste buds think differently.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/8/2010, 11:12 pm

I’m not a big fan of raw chard. Don't like it overcooked either. Older outer leaves are sorta icky. Leaves that have survived fall frosts are sweeter. It might not be soil that makes bitter chard. I think it is leaf age and heat.

Even so, if you don't like it, you don't like it. I'm that way with zucchini. I try to like it but I just don't.

BTW I was a vegan for so many years, I forgot that many like it cooked in bacon fat.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  boffer on 3/8/2010, 11:18 pm

Debs,
I'm posting a recipe in the food court forum. Folks don't believe it's zucchini even after eating it.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/9/2010, 1:02 am

Thanks Boff, cause it is fun to grow, It isn't bad fresh and raw on a crudités plate, but if it gets bigger then about 4" I toss it to the chickens.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/9/2010, 1:21 am

@choksaw wrote:since i started gardening i have seen alot of people and literature on swiis shard and kayle two vegatbles as a child i was never introduced to and never even knew they existed until recently. What are they how do you eat/prepare them.
I'm in the same boat... to me, kale is something you use for decoration on a salad bar to cover the ice in between the containers, or as an alternative decorative garnish to parsley.

I didn't realize until recently that people eat kale... in Donna's SFG videos she's always talking about kale in soup and stuff.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/9/2010, 1:43 am

I Love Donna!

If you are going to try kale, don't put decorative stuff in your mouth. Get some good Siberian Red or White. Harvest it after a frost. It is nothing like the pig food that gets spread around the Salad Bar.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  plb on 3/9/2010, 5:05 am

There's a recipe using Swiss Chard in one of my favourite cooking blogs, posted on March 1:
http://www.mytartelette.com/

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  jerzyjen on 3/9/2010, 9:32 am

The last few days I have been impulse buying seeds in changing my garden plan. I picked up a packet of swiss chard even though I'm not sure what to expect. I THINK there are occasionally baby chard leaves in the grocery store's organic spring mix and i like that (although its killing me to buy lettuce, im experimenting for next winter to grow lettuce in the basement) and i think my friend made a pasta salad one time with the stalks in it, i dont recall not liking it so... i figure i'll give it a shot.

My other impulse buys were pole beans, eggplant, flat leaf parsley. I need to learn to cook with these things.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  gettip on 3/10/2010, 7:53 am

Started SQF gardening late last year, didn't get a spring garden out, and when the fall came I could not find spinach seeds locally and didn't want to order them. I came across swiss chard, planted it, and did not regret it. Don't know if what was covered by 18" of snow will come back but if not it is going back into my garden and will be a mainstay. It was a wonderful substitute for spinach in recipes, especially soups. Its texture holds up better than spinach when cooked and I harvested it well into December without covering it (I live in Ohio). Haven't tried cooking the stalks but that's next. I haven't grown kale yet but an outstanding soup called zuppa tuscana uses it and my family and I really enjoy it.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Mirjam on 3/20/2010, 4:46 pm

Here in Holland kale is a traditional winterfood, we cut it in strips, cook it with potatoes, and then mash it up to make "boerenkool stamppot", which is served with gravy, mustard, and "rookworst" , a smoked sausage that is also typical dutch I believe. Before I started cooking of the internet (kale being mentioned as a sidedish) I would never have considered kale being eaten as a vegetable "on its own".

If you can get some rookworst, you should really try it... although it's best eaten when it's really cold outside (after having been ice skating all afternoon or so), so better postpone it till next winter... for now I'd like some higher temperatures!

PS I know the post was originally about swiss chard, but someone said he never considered kale to be actual food... just had to react

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  happyfrog on 3/20/2010, 7:47 pm

mirjam - thank you for sharing!! i am going to remember this for cold times - i bet it would convert really easily to a crockpot dish.

i do potatoes, onions, green peppers and sausage in a crockpot, so if i were to drop the peppers and onion and sub with kale, it'd be similar to what you're describing!

ooh, fun!

now i wish i had more kale! i have about 6-8 little leaves - the largest leaves are 5" so really not enough for a meal - YET! but they'll grow again. . . this was a plant i thought was dead and overwintered. . . it's obviously doing well. *grin*

oh and my swiss chard is starting to sprout! lost one square to the baby but i still have 3 plants. that's ok though - i'll replant that square with 4 swiss chard plants (other squares only have one plant each) - and when the other squares get larger, I'll transplant them and move them all together to one square since we will harvest often. . .

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  bpbdrummer on 3/20/2010, 11:30 pm

I planted a bunch of swiss chard too "Brightlights" , it's expensive in the grocery store.

Creamed Swiss Chard


2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons finely minced shallots

1 pound Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves cut crosswise
into 1-inch ribbons

1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream or mascarpone

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the butter in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium
heat and add the shallots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the
shallots soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chard to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard wilts, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add the cream and raise the heat to medium-high; cook, stirring
frequently, until the cream reduces and thickens. If you're using
mascarpone, cook over medium heat just until the mascarpone melts. Stir
in the parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve
immediately.
just like creamed spinach.... mmmmmmmmmm

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/21/2010, 12:13 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:I Love Donna!

If you are going to try kale, don't put decorative stuff in your mouth. Get some good Siberian Red or White. Harvest it after a frost. It is nothing like the pig food that gets spread around the Salad Bar.
ROTFL! Well, for us, it's actually unusual to get much in the way of frost... at least, in a normal year. This one, on the other hand... well.. let's just say the trees and plants are VERY confused.

I've seen many years where it was warm enough to go swimming on Christmas, others where we didn't get down to 32'F once. I seem to recall numerous 85-90'F days in October and November, we had a verrrry hot Halloween (poor kids)... which is a little unusual. Once we DID get the cold.. it seemed to keep coming back over and over again (again unusual.)

I have an oak tree that's dropping leaves instead of growing new ones. I can't recall the last time I've actually had to pick up leaves from it either (I think it's one of the native Florida oak trees.)

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Thanks for the info on chard

Post  quiltbea on 3/22/2010, 1:34 pm

I have some seeds to try this year but never ate it. I'm happy that you folks are giving me ideas on how to harvest and cook it.
This sure is a helpful site.
I also heard that chard that has overwintered (even under the snow) is sweeter than earlier chard.
Thanks again.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  LaFee on 3/22/2010, 4:12 pm

Here in France, it's cooked into stews and things, but it's very often made similar to the "creamed swiss chard" recipe back a ways. They use shredded Emmenthal cheese instead of the Parmesan. Not my favourite, but it's pretty tasty that way.

It's called "blettes" in French. I have a mental image of a little kid wrinkling his nose and saying "blette"...which changes the meaning quite a bit!

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/22/2010, 8:44 pm

@LaFee wrote:Here in France, it's cooked into stews and things, but it's very often made similar to the "creamed swiss chard" recipe back a ways. They use shredded Emmenthal cheese instead of the Parmesan. Not my favourite, but it's pretty tasty that way.

It's called "blettes" in French. I have a mental image of a little kid wrinkling his nose and saying "blette"...which changes the meaning quite a bit!

Sounds almost like Spinach! Very Happy

Actually, I LOVE spinach. Not so sure about the creamed style, but I grew up using a capful of white or apple-cider vinegar on cooked spinach. Raw, otoh, is one of those take it or leave it things... I don't mind if it's in a salad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to have it in there either.

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Re: Swiss chard seeds in the ground today: PIC!

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