Sharing the Swiss Chard Harvest
I first planted Swiss Chard four years back in my school garden. During all these years, I only planted it twice and enjoyed my harvest for years in my organic kitchen gardens. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Well luckily, Chard is a biennial plants therefore it will keep growing for more than one year. Here in Karachi it grows beautifully for two years or more which makes it a star of any vegetable garden.
‘Bright Lights’ heirloom Chard has always been my favorite. Its beautiful dazzling colors never fail to bring a smile on my face. Morning sun makes the rainbow of colored stems shine even more brilliantly. This delicious spinach or beet looking vegetable comes in striking variety of colors like pink, orange, yellow, white, scarlet & purple.
I like to plant it with different varieties of Kale and beans at our home especially because they look pretty together and also have similar soil requirements. We use large wooden boxes layered with a sheet of old panaflex to grow our vegetables on the rooftop. Beans are an excellent companion plants for green vegetables because it naturally increases the nitrogen levels of the soil which helps the greens to grow well. I have paired my rainbow chard with purple pole beans and hoping to see a lot of beautiful foliage, contrasting flowers and beans very soon! For now, I have promising supply of chard to enjoy besides other vegetables.
Sharing the harvest
Recently, I harvested a bunch of Chard after few weeks and as usual, there was a share for everyone in the harvest. Hens, bugs, the compost bin and us.
This super vegetable needs to be harvested regularly because it tends to go bad very quickly. Since I was picking up leaves from my organic kitchen garden after a long a break, there were some dried leaves that I spread around the plant because this way nutrients will be returned to the soil . After picking up fresh chard and removing its stem right there in the garden, Finally, I collected some fading leaves and all the stems from the fresh ones to give it to our hens because they love to feast on these more than anything.