Eggplant, chard, green beans – Today’s Harvest Basket August 22, 2014
Tomatoes and peppers sometimes seem to reign supreme over August. All those reds, oranges, yellows seem to take over. These are the container grown vegetables the deck.
Peppermint stick chard has beautiful, vibrant green leaves, with bold peppermint stick colored stalks. It is pretty enough to be seen in the flower gardens and in container plantings. Peppermint stick chard is a new offering and an Exclusive from Renee’s Garden.
This variety is bolt resistant and has been growing in containers all summer.
Baby leaves have served as a substitute for lettuce in a sandwich and salad. It is best combined with other greens to make a mixed greens salad bowl. Add some of these leaves to a spinach salad.
Any dish that calls for cooked spinach will work with chard. The full size leaves make an excellent green rice casserole. Saute the chopped stems and add them to the dish.
Some variety of chard is growing in my garden most of the year. In the hottest part of summer, chard does well in the shade of taller plants. When container grown flowers are gone for the summer, poke a few chard seed in the pots for color.
Over the years, I’ve grown all seven of the varieties that Renee’s Garden offers. I like to combos in the Neon Glow and Bright Lights chard. But the one that really stands out and seems to do best in my garden is the Pot of Gold.
Those yellow stems are the color of gold finches. Plant just a few seed in the shade of caged tomato plants or trellised vines. When a little chard is handy, it’s easy to incorporate into a lot of dishes.
I grow green beans differently than my grandmother. Her goal was to process a lot of food for winter eating. My goal is to have fresh green beans for as long as possible. Plant a few feet of the row every two weeks.
Here, at the end of August, I am still harvesting and planting beans. I’ll plant a few beans the first couple of weeks in September. I might even end up with fresh green beans for your Thanksgiving table.
Those late beans could freeze. That’s OK. The frost-killed plants are still good for the soil. I may have wasted a few pennies worth of seed.
The big payoff is that I’ll be picking fresh green beans, long after most folks have quit gardening for the year.