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a swiss chard thread

 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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well I was reading the daikon radish thread and it reminded me of swiss chard..

In our cold areas daikon probably would die, but another great deep rooted dynamic accumulator is swiss chard, it not only grows right on through our coldest zone 4 winters, but also it reseeds itself..If you buy a good quality OP seed you'll likely have swiss chard forever once you plant it, IF you allow some to go to seed that is..

I have had it in two areas now for several years, and in my unheated greenhouse I can pick it all winter..although some really cold times it does go limp...basically a pretty reliable crop
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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A very nice plant for the garden and I hope it will do well in my hugel beds amongst the trees. I started a few dozen seeds of the "Rainbow" type last fall so that they will hopefully go to seed this spring/summer. I'd like to expand out the crop via broadcast seed or seedballs for next year.

Apart from the hugel beds, our soil is starting off so low in organic matter, I am curious to see how big the leaves get. It will be interesting to compare chard grown in the regular soil vs hugelkultur.

A few years back when I was raising rabbits, some of the plants had HUGE leaves when they were fertilized generously with the rabbit manure. Great combo!
 
Ken Anderson
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Location: Millinocket/St. Agatha, Maine
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I haven't planted them yet, but what I'm finding is that the Daikon (Minowase) Radish is classified for USDA Zone 3-9, and I'm thinking that should work in North Central Michigan. I am going to try some in Northern Maine this year, anyhow. Swiss Chard sounds like a good idea, as well.
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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The swiss chard has been great in our zone 6b-7a. I had a one over winter last year and its root grew about 8" thick. Quite a monster when it was finished for the year. Since we're having such a light winter this year about 5 or so are overwintering just fine. I'm thinking next year there will be swiss chard weeds everywhere. An awesome prospect for sure!
 
John Polk
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To keep some individual plants going in winter, here is a no cost mini greenhouse:

Put your tomato cages over them. Get some of those clear plastic bags that the dry cleaners use, and cover your cages.
That also solves storing the cages all winter.

 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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maybe we could also have a few swiss chard recipes..I saw on another thread where someone was cooking it with sausage and eggs in an omelet and it sounded really good. You can use the really small leaves in salads but the larger ones are better de ribbed and cooked separately..I put a bunch in the freezer this last fall and i steam blanched them separately, so I have bags of leaves and bags of cut up stems..that can be added to soups ..etc.

I really like it wilted with sauteed bacon..but also thinking maybe morel mushrooms this spring.
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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We ate a lot of silverbeet (NZ for Swiss chard) when I was a kid. One of my favourites:
make lots of white sauce (bechamel), add beet ribs, cook till soft.
Add greens, nutmeg, cheese.
Serve with boiled potatoes.
Sounds a bit "mmmm, depression!", but it's actually really yummy as long as no one skimps on the cheese or seasonings.
Of course it's excellent with meat, especially robust fish, but we generally had it as-is. A poached egg would go well too.
 
Michael Newby
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My wife makes an absolutely killer fried rice using sauteed chard and mustard greens and whatever left-over meat we need to use. Add a few eggs and some soy sauce and you've got a delicious one pot meal that uses up some of those leftovers. One of my favorites to eat cold, too, great for lunch at work.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The Indian dish saag is meant for spinnach but chard works fine. It's a curry dish. Daal, a lentil dish, is often served with saag.

When my children's great aunt who is Pakistani visits, she cooks constantly so that every day there are big batches for the freezer as the kids couldn't possibly eat it all. If there are two bushels of chard, that determines batch sizing. At first I thought some sort or intervention was in order since cooking is constant. All of the visiting happens in the kitchen, while she vainly attempts to engage disinterested youth in learning to speak Punjabi. When she visits them next time I'll just keep her supplied with ingredients as the freezer fills up.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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looked up a recipe for saag..see if it will copy here



"I've been experimenting with saag recipes for a while now, and have finally concocted what I believe to be the best version so far. This recipe is for plain saag. Add lamb, chicken, paneer, or other deliciousness.
Beer

Prep Time:
20 MinCook Time:
30 MinReady In:
55 Min


Original Recipe Yield 4 servings
Ingredients
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup water, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 (10 ounce) bag fresh spinach, chopped
10 ounces fresh kale, chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup cottage cheese
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ghee (clarified butter)
2 onions, chopped
Directions
1.Place the ginger and garlic in a blender with 1/4 cup of water, and blend to a smooth paste.
2.Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium-low heat, and scoop the ginger-garlic paste into the skillet. Sprinkle with garam masala, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer the paste for about 15 minutes, checking to see that it hasn't cooked dry. Add more water if the mixture gets dried out. Stir in the spinach and kale, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are bright green and limp, about 10 minutes.
3.Place the milk and cottage cheese into the blender, and blend until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and nutmeg to the blender, and pulse again just to mix.
4.Heat the ghee in a skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the onions until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
5.Stir the cottage cheese mixture and the cooked onions into the skillet with the greens until well combined, let cool slightly, and place about half the saag into the blender. Pulse until smooth, return the blended mixture to the skillet, and stir well.
 
John Polk
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I have always contended that if I ever became a vegetarian, I would have to move to the Orient. Perhaps because they use vegetables as a main dish, rather than 'just' a side dish, they have learned how to make them tasty.

Meanwhile, the westerners will take a vegetable (that is 80-90% water), and plop it into a pot of boiling water...boring!

 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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