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Video: Chard - Beets Without Root Vegetables
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 20:34
Root, leaf and petiole beets
There is always a lot of work in the summer cottage. For a short summer, I want to grow as many vegetables and fruits as possible. Therefore, for many years now, I have been growing many vegetables, including beets, only through seedlings.
In early April, I sow beet seeds in a greenhouse. As you know, they are arranged in such a way that one seed produces 2-5 shoots, therefore, with the seedling method, fewer seeds are required. In addition, you will not need to thin out the seedlings several times. By the time the vegetable beds warm up, the beet seedlings will be ready for planting. When picking beets, you can pinch a too long tail.
In mid-June, young root vegetables with leaves can already be used for food. I do not have a separate bed for beets, I plant it with early cabbage and cucumbers. This culture does not require special care. All that beets need is timely watering, loosening and feeding with a mullein, but not at the root, but at a distance of 5-8 cm from the plant. Beets do not like fresh manure, from which the root crop becomes ugly, with voids. There are few types and varieties of root beets. Most of all, I like the Egyptian flat variety - its turnip is small, it does not outgrow, even if it sits in the ground for a long time.
Beetroot is one of the few vegetables that perfectly retain their nutritional properties raw, boiled, steamed, dried and fermented.
Until recently, I was sure that beets are a root crop, but once, when buying seeds, I noticed a vegetable with a strange name - Swiss chard. It turned out that the ancestor of table beet (as well as sugar and fodder beets) is wild chard, which grows in Europe on the Atlantic coast and the North Sea, and this culture was mastered back in the 5th century BC.
I bought Swiss chard seeds out of curiosity and did not regret it. Now I grow several varieties of leaf and one variety of stalked chard. Over time, Swiss chard completely replaced spinach in my garden. Unlike spinach, chard is less demanding on soil conditions, resistant to drought, more productive and almost does not shoot. This plant has high cold resistance and is able to withstand frost. In addition, leaf and petiole beets, unlike spinach, have a low percentage of oxalic acid, which, in turn, contributes to the formation of stones in the human body. In terms of taste, beetroot is not inferior to spinach; it is not for nothing that I also call it spinach beet. After the large leaves have been removed, the beets continue to grow and new shoots are formed. Removing leaves only stimulates the emergence of new shoots,therefore, it is enough to have only a few such plants in the garden, which will yield a harvest throughout the season. One plant can produce more than 1 kg of selected petioles and leaves.
Swiss chard leaves are eaten fresh and boiled, petioles - boiled or stewed. Young Swiss chard leaves are used to make stuffed cabbage. I grow Swiss chard also through seedlings, like beetroot. Plant care is the same as for beet growing. Chard grows well among beans, peas and cabbage. In the fall, I dig up the chard, cut off the leaves, and store the root crop in the same way as the root vegetables of beet. I leave the best plants for the seeds. If you plant such a root crop in the spring in a garden, then its leaves grow very quickly, and after a couple of weeks you can cook borscht from them, they can be used for salad and for stuffed cabbage.
Chard can also be grown on a windowsill or balcony. It has varieties that differ in the color of the stems and in the shape of the leaves. I like Red and Ruby varieties more. They also decorate the garden with their wavy colorful leaves.
The beneficial and healing properties of chard were described in ancient manuscripts. This culture contains a large amount of vitamins (A, B 1, B 2, B 3, B 5, C, E, K,) macroelements (potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus), microelements (iron, manganese, copper, selenium). Eating it in food contributes to the elimination of insoluble salts from the body, improves the functioning of the liver and cardiovascular system, stimulates the activity of the lymphatic system, increases the body's immunity and resistance to colds. Also, chard contains a lot of pectin substances, which makes the plant a valuable dietary product for patients with gastrointestinal diseases. Chard is effective in combating various inflammatory processes - boiled leaves are applied to abscesses and burns, and a compress of crushed leaves relieves eye inflammation. This tasty and medicinal plant is very useful for obesity, diabetes, kidney stones, anemia.
Chard can be salted and pickled. Here are my recipes:
Swiss chard recipes
5 kg of petioles, 3-4 leaves of white cabbage, 100 g of salt.
Peel the chard stalks from the leaf blades, wash thoroughly and chop finely. Put cabbage leaves on the bottom of a dish with a wide neck, then place chopped chard stalks tightly and sprinkle with salt. Put a circle or plate on top and bend. As soon as the juice appears, place the dishes in a cold place.
Marinade. For 1 liter of water - 0.25 liters of 9% vinegar, 40-80 g of salt, 40-100 g of sugar, 2-4 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves. Wash chard and celery stalks thoroughly. Put garlic cloves and bay leaves at the bottom of the jar, and then the prepared chard and celery stalks. Pour with hot marinade and sterilize liter jars for 20 minutes.
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