Since it’s planting time, I’ll say a few words about one to consider. Next week, some low-stress approaches to storing it for the off-season, whether you grow it or buy it.
If garden and freezer space are very tiny and you must prioritize, chard will give the most monetary return. It is astounding how much chard will grow from a single seed planted in fertile soil in early spring. I’ve found heirloom white-stemmed to be the most hardy and prolific in zone 4.
Since there is some concern and conflicting information available about the oxalates present in chard, as well as spinach, eating it only one to three times a week seems like a good compromise. There is also an abundance of unquestionably good vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in chard, and if one constituent does prevent absorption of another, those things can be absorbed on other days, from other dark green leaves.
For maximum yield, harvest the outer leaves throughout the season, allowing the inner ones to have more room to gather sunlight. If oxalates are of special concern, it is generally recommended to harvest the leaves at baby size.
Laurie Goodhart and her husband co-founded and operated two certified organic artisanal goat fromageries, Nettle Meadow in Warrensburg, NY from 1990 to 2005 and Domaine De Courval in Waterville, Quebec from 2006 to 2017. She created and trademarked the multiple award-winning cheese, Kunik. For more about her how her life experience brought her to develop time-saving ways to eat as much nutrient-dense food from her local environment as possible, see this previous post
Goodhart lives in upstate New York and continues her lifelong work as a professional artist and avid gardener. Since 2007 she has devoted her studio time to an extensive suite of paintings and mixed media work titled, The Remnants And Residents Of A Lost Sanctuary Of Aphrodite. She describes the work as, “resonant totems for liminal times”. An iteration of the Lost Sanctuary is currently on view in the gallery of Stephen Procter Studios in Brattleboro VT and can be visited by appointment.
Laurie can be reached through her art website, lauriegoodhart.com