Availability, Nutrition, and Recipe Suggestions

chard Swiss Chad

In Season:  Chard season starts in the springtime and runs into the late fall.  While not as cold-hardy as kale, we also feature chard for our wintertime CSA in December and beyond…

Storage:  Chard can be kept in a plastic bag in the fridge.  The goal for keeping greens in top quality is to control the rate of respiration (hence the plastic bag) and temperature (hence the refrigeration).

Preservation:  You may freeze chard as you would other hardy greens (Freezing Leafy Greens, bon appetit).

Production Notes:  We grow chard through all seasons on the farm; we plant multiple successions and we’ll harvest at various stages from tender baby leaf to full grown chard with ribs;

Varieties:  A majority of our chard crop is Bright Lights rainbow chard; some years we grow a large white stemmed variety Fordhook Giant.  In the late fall we often include Barese Chard, a heirloom variety from Italy, which we dubbed “glossy green” chard.  It’s short stature is well suited for the protected culture under row covers in the field and in the fieldhouses and it tastes delicious!

Nutrition:  Swiss Chard is a nutrient packed green, very high in Vitamin K (WHFoods.com).  Beets and Swiss Chard are both part of the chenopodiaceae family and share similar nutrition profiles.  Our Beets Crop Page has good information about the nutritional benefits of  the “chenopod’s” and is worth reviewing.

Deep Nutrition:  Dr. Axe highlights Syringic Acid, an anti-oxidant found in swiss chard; noting it’s potential to help regulate blood sugar.

Deep Science:  Swiss chard is high in oxalates, which are typically not recommended for folks at risk of kidney stones; how soluble the oxalates are play a key role in the formation of kidney stones.  WHFoods offers a detailed perspective, including a discussion of traditional food combining to reduce oxalate solubility…

Preparation:  Our bagged chard is typically fresh packed without washing, while our bunched chard is typically rinsed to maintain moisture around the leaves, we suggest washing all greens before using.  Chard is simple to prepare; some recipes will call for stripping the ribs of the leaf as the leaf will require a shorter cooking time.

Chard Recipe Suggestions:

  • A basic Sauteed Swiss Chard Recipe is a good place to start [Genius Kitchen]
  • You can substitute chard for spinach in a Greek Swiss Chard Pie [NY Times Cooking]