Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: chard

Swiss Chard White Silver

Swiss Chard White Silver

I have sown seeds of white swiss chard today, May 1st, as I came across them whilst looking for herbs. Swiss Chard is a favourite of mine that we grew every year at the allotment. It is a very giving plant and needs very little maintenance once established. It is a member of the beet family. When we visited the allotment after being away for a whole year the chard was still there looking as healthy and inviting as ever. Day 7 and a few green shoots have appeared in the Chard pot. Potted on today 24th of May.

The variety of chard that I had seeds of is White Silver which has wide white stems. The early leaves can be used in salads. Later, use the tops as you would use spinach. Treated as a separate vegetable the stems can be sliced and cooked in boiling water and eaten with butter, salt and pepper – simple, tender and tasty.

I prefer to chop the whole stem and leaf and toss it in the pan with a little oil and lemon juice. Put the sliced stem in first and cook a little before adding the leaf as it takes a little longer to soften whereas the leaf wilts very quickly. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Perfect beside fish or steak.

Swiss Chard White Silver

White Silver is a classic Swiss Chard with thick white stems and glossy, rich green leaves. With an RHS Award of Garden Merit, this robust leaf beet is a versatile addition to the vegetable plot or even the flower border. Baby leaves can be used in salads while the juicy, mature stems can be chopped and steamed, or used to add a sweet crunch to stir-fries. Mature leaves can be used as a delicious spinach substitute. Sow Swiss Chard ‘White Silver’ up until August for cropping into the New Year. Thompson&Morgan.

Swiss Chard

Finally, Swiss Chard is very good for you being naturally low in calories and carbohydrates but very high in Vitamins K, A and C. A diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits has been shown to lower heart disease risk factors, Swiss chard is an excellent source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, minerals that help maintain healthy blood pressure. There is also current research that indicates that these leafy greens can actually lower LDL cholesterol.

Swiss Chard

We went to the allotment today and did a bit more tidying up. I was pleased to see three good roots of Swiss Chard just waiting to be picked for dinner. We also brought home a couple of leeks just to check on the quality really as they had been growing over the winter. They were brilliant and are now cut up and in the freezer and we are planning to harvest the rest of the crop and clear the bed for new planting. I came home a bit more optimistic about keeping the allotment plot. I had a load of wood chip dropped and Rob has tidied a few beds and covered them with manure and woodchip giving the whole place a visual lift. We have also  cleared the site of bits of plastic and empty bags that had been blown about after storm Doris. Back at home we put a bag of manure on the side garden plus two bags of wood chip. It is almost built up to the right level now another five bags should do it. Laura came home with a wooden raised bed knocked together by a friend of Bryans at his allotment site. We have painted it with green preservative and put it ready to be filled with soil and planted up.

Swiss Chard – Bright Lights

swiss chardI have sown a tray of Swiss Chard today. Mostly Bright Lights, the colourful mix, with a couple of the green ones thrown in. I have grown them before and have learned by my previous mistakes. Leave plenty of space in between when you put them outside as the final plant is quite large and stays in the ground for a long time. They form a deep taproot and don’t transplant too well. One large plant is enough really as you can keep on cutting what you want and it will keep growing. A bit like Rhubarb. It does not originate from Switzerland but is a Mediterranean plant first discovered by a Swiss man. It is a member of the beet group and is used like Spinach. The leaves can be harvested young for use in salads or left to grow larger for cooking. The main attraction of this variety are the stems that grow in colours from dark red to orange.

Easter Sunday – Roseval Potatoes and Swiss Chard

“If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page” — Mark Houlahan

RosevalIt’s Easter Sunday and we had an early start and a fine day. The allotments were busy and Rob made a start by planting the next potatoes. They were Roseval, a second early, small red skinned salad variety. The tubers are long oval, very red and smooth. The flesh is yellow but can have an attractive pink blush. Cooking quality and flavour are said to be excellent. We are looking forward to striking foliage with ruby red stems. Roseval is popular in France but rare in the UK. I went over and pinched a couple to put in a big terracotta pot at the edge of the nursery bed.

 

rainbow chardspinach matador

I dug over one of the salad beds and sowed a row of Rainbow Chard, Bright Lights, a row of Swiss Chard, Lucullus and a row of Spinach Matador. I covered them with a plastic cloche for a bit of warmth to help germination. Rob laid a path alongside the nursery bed with some concrete blocks Frank had given us. Then after weeding the fruit beds he cut a pointed cabbage for tonights meal and we went home for a well earned rest.