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Post  sanderson 12/3/2014, 12:49 am

I have to report on the Swiss Chard I planted 2 months ago, September 30.  I was late starting seeds so I bought some 6-packs of kale, chard and cabbage.  We have been eating the kale and chard, but tonight's sauteed rainbow chard was so perfect it was almost sweet.  Almost 2' leaves, perfect color, zero pests.  Top dollar organic.  A perfect collision of quality compost MM, table tops, tulle protection, sun and weather.  I told DH that it's now guaranteed that if I tried it next fall, it would be a bust.  Very Happy I don't know

PS  After this disastrous summer, I'm encouraged to keep on experimenting/tweaking my sfg garden. Twenty (20) months a gardener and still so much to learn.
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Post  Marc Iverson 12/3/2014, 1:20 am

Glad you like them. Mine are small enough that tasting them would probably kill them. Maybe later?

Last year I planted a lot of stuff for winter growing, but very little this year. I think I got distracted by too many things. I actually planted quite a few seeds, but neglected to protect them from the rain properly, that sort of thing.

I'm liking how easy it is to grow some leaf crops once the summer bugs are gone, and now I wish I had taken more care and planted much more.
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Post  quiltbea 12/3/2014, 11:52 am

Fall gardening for us in the northeast is a good thing for brassicas (brocc, cabb, cauliflower, kale etc) because the bugs are fewer and the heat is gone.  Temps are so much liked by brassicas in the fall.  And for many, a first and 2nd frost improves the flavor.
I'm happy to hear your report Sanderson.  It sounds like you found a good time to grow your chard.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/3/2014, 12:53 pm

I havent' cooked swiss chard, only used it for juicing and small leaves in salads.  How do you cook it?  sautéed?  What does it taste like?  I have it in my greenhouse, the plants are now over a year old and stronger than ever!
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Post  CapeCoddess 12/3/2014, 1:50 pm

Ajr,  I haven't used raw Swiss chard since I read that you should never eat it raw. But I can't remember why or when that was. Guess I should look into it again because I have a lot out in the garden right now that I'm not using. When I cook it, I just sauté it up with some coconut oil, amino acids and occasionally some garlic and mushrooms. Yummo!
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Post  Judy McConnell 12/3/2014, 1:54 pm

It seems to me that swiss chard would be great in a salad, etc.

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Post  sanderson 12/3/2014, 1:55 pm

The closest I can describe is lightly sauteed spinach, but sweeter.  I like to saute greens with some salt and pepper.  I de-stalk and cook them first, then add the greens for a couple of minutes.  I also use kale in light soups.

CC Some kind of alkaloid?

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Post  CapeCoddess 12/3/2014, 2:13 pm

OK, found this explanation:

"Like spinach, Swiss chard has a relatively high oxalate content. This decreases when the vegetable is cooked.

Oxalates interfere with calcium absorption, but the effect is relatively minor and not something to be worried about.

However, eating large quantities of foods with a high oxalate content can result in high oxalate concentrations in body fluids, which can result in the formation of oxalate crystals. Eventually, kidney stones and gall stones could form as a result. For this reason, people with kidney and gall bladder problems are recommended to avoid eating large quantities of oxalate-rich foods.

In this respect, eating raw Swiss chard is no different to using raw baby spinach leaves in salads."

So my reasoning for not eating Swiss Chard must have been due to it interfering calcium absorption. I don't eat raw spinach for that reason either.

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Post  camprn 12/3/2014, 3:02 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:

So my reasoning for not eating Swiss Chard must have been due to it interfering calcium absorption. I don't eat raw spinach for that reason either.

CC
LOL< an interesting rationale for avoiding healthy greens. That's why you put vinegar or lemon juice on it to increase the Fe absorption....
if you want increased Ca absorption go for yogurt or dried figs at a different meal. Wink



Good Links:
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/swiss-chard-vs-spinach-nutrition-1626.html
http://web.mit.edu/athletics/sportsmedicine/wcrvitamins.html

http://vegetariannutrition.net/docs/Calcium-Vegetarian-Nutrition.pdf


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Post  CapeCoddess 12/3/2014, 6:23 pm

if I leave the Swiss chard in the ground over winter will it come back in the spring like the kale and eventually go to seed?
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Post  boffer 12/3/2014, 6:31 pm

Even if they freeze, most of mine come back in early spring.


audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:... How do you cook it? ...

We throw most of our chard into soups, stews, etc. for the color.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/3/2014, 8:17 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:if I leave the Swiss chard in the ground over winter will it come back in the spring like the kale and eventually go to seed?
I don't know what the conventional answer is, but I cut mine back hard at the beginning of the summer when it started to send up seed stalks and it came back strong.  It was in my greenhouse with temps averaging probably 110 in there all summer and didn't go to seed.
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Post  camprn 12/3/2014, 9:41 pm

Mine usually freezes to death over the 5 months of frozen winter.

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Post  sanderson 12/4/2014, 12:29 am

Camp or anyone. I froze summer chard and kale in Ziplock baggies. It was too tough to eat. Any fool proof way to freeze it?
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Post  walshevak 12/4/2014, 2:08 am

Just my preference, but I like to cook my collards, kale, chard first and then freeze.

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Post  camprn 12/4/2014, 6:34 am

sanderson wrote:Camp or anyone.  I froze summer chard and kale in Ziplock baggies.  It was too tough to eat.  Any fool proof way to freeze it?  
Yes chard needs to be blanched. You could chop it up after blanching and before freezing.

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Post  sanderson 12/4/2014, 1:27 pm

Thanks, guys. I have more chard and kale than we can eat.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/5/2014, 1:19 pm

Me too, Sanderson!  I have to get back to juicing them!  Thanks for all the tips on cooking them up, I'll give that a try this week and report back Very Happy
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Post  jimmy cee 12/5/2014, 5:31 pm

When I shoveled the soil of of my first SFG bed I had swiss chard growing.
The bed was elevated some and I was very careful digging up the chard.
I couldn't believe how long these roots went down, I measured one, it was 18 inches and deeper.
How in the world does swiss chard do so well in only 6-8 inches of M.M.
I know it does because mine has grown very nicely, except for the pests.
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Post  sanderson 12/5/2014, 8:25 pm

jimmy cee wrote:.
I couldn't believe how long these roots went down, I measured one, it was 18 inches and deeper.
How in the world does swiss chard do so well in only 6-8 inches of M.M.
I know it does because mine has grown very nicely, except for the pests.

'Cuz MM has everything the roots need, right there. Very Happy
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Post  dstack 12/8/2014, 10:11 pm

I have Swiss Chard too, but my problem is that something keeps eating them and I never see what it is. I just get lots of holes that appear in all the leaves. Young plants seem safe temporarily and I harvested some good leaves for a months or so. I may rip the chard out and plant something else there.
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Post  has55 12/10/2014, 5:30 pm

You mostly likely have the cabbage worm which will persist throughout the warm weather. I have some in the greens now and the temps have gotten down to the forties. but I seen that little white moth flying around when the warms up for short periods. You can try BT and cover with row cover. Greens don't need to pollinate. I also seeing a small brown moth at the base of the plants when I water. don't know what it is. Try BT ( it's super cheap, natural). 
here's a look at my unprotected swiss chard and one bed of lettuce, nothing fancy, but taste good. so far they're hanging. just harvested, pretty hard, but they're growing back. It's a tough plant. with huge roots. Got several bags worth. 
I put them in those clear plastic bags that we use for our produce at the store. I buy the whole roll , which contains about 2000 bags, then use two bags for each pack. the reason for this to prevent the frost free fridge from sucking the water out of the plants too early causing wilting and be able to get the greens out easy and rewrap it without tying it off.

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Post  camprn 12/10/2014, 6:05 pm

Dstack post a pic of the problem on the plant, if you can. For what its worth I have never, ever had cabbage worms on my chard. It is the wrong plant species for cabbage worm.

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Post  has55 12/10/2014, 6:51 pm

Actually cabbage worms will attack any type of greens or the broccoli, cabbage family here in Texas,. You have to stop them quickly. but I agree with Camprn . post a picture for better identification.
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Post  dstack 12/10/2014, 9:48 pm

I'll try to get a pic before work tomorrow. I know it's not a worm. Like I said, I never see anything eating at it, so it has to be something that nibbles and flies off.
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