Thursday, 10 July 2008

Chard

A few years ago I was introduced to chard when we tried a veggie box scheme run in the area by a farm that employs handicapped adults. The farm is organic and is a great success. The box scheme didn't work for us as they couldn't deliver and we could never collect on the days specified. They changed it now to a shop which works much better.

Anyway, the chard made up a large part of the box and initially I wasn't too pleased - until I tasted it! It was delicious and has the advantage of being in two parts. You can eat the white stems with, say, a cheese sauce and then the green leaves as a change from spinach. Both are excellent. I might say though that I haven't yet managed to make the white stems in cheese sauce LOOK appetising but I am blessed with a 14 year old (the youngest of three) who will always try a new culinary effort and make a genuine yes or no decision about it. He loved it!

I was too late to sow any this year but found six plants in a local garden supply shop (I was looking for seed potatoes actually). I put three of these in a corner of the veggie patch but had no more room, so I put them in the flower bed. And this was the problem.


All the books say that chard must be watered regularly or it will bolt. The veggie patch was no problem as during the very dry June I was watering it anyway. However, the flower bed we try not to water so much and although it does have a sprinkler system it isn't yet up and running this year. So, guess what? The chard has bolted! It looks lovely though so I'm not too upset and of course I still have the three in the veggie patch.

If you are looking for a new vegetable experience I highly recommend trying chard. Next year I will grow it from seed as it isn't meant to be too hard to get started. You can also, in the UK at least, buy a sort of rainbow chard which has stems in a variety of colours. They look lovely but I haven't yet found them in France.

5 comments:

Melanie said...

Your site is beautiful! I LOVE what you're doing!

CyberCelt said...

If the chard has bolted, then it will produce seed. Dry the seed and use it next year. What is left can go in the compost pile.

Chard is wonderful stir fried like Chinese food too.

Thank you for displaying your advertisement on my blog.

Compostwoman said...

You can still eat your bolted chard, you know? Take off all the flowers and it will grow more leaves..the flower tips are nice, too...and then keep doing that and it WILL keep on growing leaves...we have a plant which has been " kept going " for 2 years now!

Up The Garden Path said...

Thank you for that - I will get cutting today and save it. I do love eating it!

Up The Garden Path said...

Lorna has kindly told me there's a problem with messages. I'm not sure what it is but I will try and get it sorted!