Swiss Chard

comments (2) November 5th, 2010

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Gather chard leaves now before the cold weather! Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions. 
Colorful stems of Bright Lights chard are appealing to the eye as well as the palate. Chop stems like celery to use in soups and stews. 
Deep, ruby-hued stems are handsome additions to any garden. 
If you have deer in your neighborhood, you might want to corral your chard for safekeeping.
Gather chard leaves now before the cold weather! Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions. Click To Enlarge

Gather chard leaves now before the cold weather! Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions. 

Photo: Susan Belsinger

Chard (Beta vulgaris, var. cicla) and beet greens (B. vulgaris, var. crassa) are closely related, though chard has been cultivated for several centuries as a leaf crop only; it does not form swollen roots. Chard is a prolific and reliable performer in most gardens, and has the advantage over beets that it will give good-flavored greens even during the hottest months, provided that it has plenty of water.

Other names for this flavorful leafy green are Swiss chard, perpetual spinach, and in Europe it is often called silverbeet. Both red and green varieties are tasty—and the bright multi-colored chards are very popular as a vegetable and an ornamental. I like the red for its beautiful color and slightly more mineral flavor, and the green for its meaty thick white stalks and mellow flavor. Ruby Red or Rhubarb; Charlotte, Paros, and Erbette; Joseph’s Coat, Bright Lights and Rainbow Chard are varieties that I have grown and am fond of.

Not only is chard delicious, it is very high in nutrients, low in calories and fats, good for controlling cholesterol and weight. The leaves contain anti-oxidants, Vitamins A, C, and K, and omega-3 fatty acids, trace minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.

Here is a yummy recipe using some of your fall crop: Chard Baked with Parmesan Cheese.


posted in: Swiss chard, Beta vulgaris, chard

Comments (2)

epeavey1 writes: I have planted 16 Collard plants 11/18/2011 in a raised bed, I live in north east Georgia. We have had some frost already when should the collards be ready? This is my first time growing collards. Thank you Ellen e-mail address is ellen@eyeopened.com
Posted: 2:59 pm on December 12th
PeterGarnham writes: Kale keep going no matter what (I've dug it out of the snow to harvest it) and chard does OK but will do better with a little protection from heavy row cover fabric held up with wire hoops. Another winter survivor is the Japanese green tatsoi, which forms attractive rosettes. Collards, too, will provide winter greens.
Posted: 12:15 pm on November 6th
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