Grown for its tasty and nutritious leaves and leafstalks (petioles), chard is a good substitute for spinach in most recipes. Prefers cool weather, but lasts through summer without going to seed (bolting). Colorful leaves and petioles make it great for edible landscaping and ornamental plantings.
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Chard is served all over the world, and with good reason. Chard is like having two vegetables wrapped up in one plant. The leaves are very much like spinach and the stalks are like asparagus. In just one cup of cooked chard you have only 35 little calories and 3.7 grams of fiber to fill you up, just to start. There is 3.29 grams of protein to keep you strong and amazingly enough almost 110% of your daily Value of Vitamin A and 716 % of DV of Vitamin K. Over 50% of Vitamin C and 17% of Vitamin E. Chard is also a good source of B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, and Copper and low in fat. Now that you know chard is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals maybe you will be compelled to try it.
Chard is a vegetable that has been around as long as Aristotle. Chard originated in the Mediterranean, and was quite common in Europe. The beet was first used before chard. . In 1806 chard made its way to North America.
Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris l.var. cicla mog) is a hardy biennial. It is very similar to the beet except it does not form and enlarged hypocotyl. It is also a member of the goosefoot or pigweed family (Chenopodiaceae).
It has been called by many different names such as Swiss Chard, Chard, , leaf beet, seakale beet, silver beet, spinach beet and perpetual spinach.
Perpetual Spinach – This variety has thinner stems and taste more like spinach. They are more compact plants and work well for smaller gardens and container gardens. These also do very well in intense heat.
White Stemmed Varieties – Such as Fordhook Giant continually outperform their showy counterparts in productivity and bolt resistance.
Brightly Colored Varieties – Like Fantasia Orange and Ruby Red are great for edible landscaping and container gardening as they are smaller more compact plants with lots of punch. Plant these with carrots and herbs for a delicate background. The colored varieties have a slightly more bitter taste but the leaves are also thinner than Fordhook Giant.
Choose a location in your garden that has part to full sun.
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