Harvest Monday, July 28, 2014, Peppermint Swiss Chard + Carrots Experiment

My new favorite Swiss chard – peppermint. So pretty! Love the stripes!

peppermint Swiss chard (06530)

Swiss Chard – Peppermint
Taste the same as other variety of Swiss chard

peppermint Swiss chard stir-fry (06535)

Stripes remain after cooking

I stir-fried the Swiss chard stems (saving the leaves for other purpose) with sugar snap peas in a bit of garlic, ginger & scallion infused oil (see NOTE), salt & pepper to taste. Tossed in the tomatoes to heat through just before plating. Wanted to add some chopped roasted macadamia nuts but could not find them (still without a finished kitchen and needed items are a challenge to find among the boxes littering my dining room and family room).

NOTE: Garlic, Ginger & Scallion Infused Oil – Add 1 – 2 cloves of smashed garlic, 1 – 2 slices fresh ginger and 1 smashed scallion (green & white parts) to 1 – 2 tablespoons of hot oil in wok or frying pan. After garlic, ginger and scallion have perfumed the oil and start to brown lightly, remove and discard. Add veggies, stir fry to desired doneness. A beautiful side that will compliment any meat, fish or poultry dish.

◊ ◊ ◊

This past week harvested Bright Light Swiss chard, mustard greens, beets, parsley and basil for friends who stopped by the garden gate, no photos.

Also harvested a handful of raspberries, no photo (they never made it through the garden gate). Birds and other critters are enjoying the ripe berries, I was lucky to find a handful.

◊ ◊ ◊

Harvest (06531)

In the basket, a portion of the:
Parsley, Mache, Lettuce (red & green), Tomato, Okra & Sugar Snap Peas
Arugula, Red Tomato & Amaranth did not make it into the photo

Harvested about 6 ounces of sugar snap peas. All went into the Swiss chard stir-fry together with the red and yellow tomatoes.

Okra and parsley went into a stew. Arugula, lettuce and mache will go into a salad. Most likely just do a simple stir-fry with the amaranth.

◊ ◊ ◊

While visiting a nursery in the spring I saw carrot seedlings in cell pack. This is the first time I am seeing carrot seedlings for sale.

Thinking: That’s a great idea, must give this a try as I have problems with direct sowing. Either poor germination or good germination and thinning becomes a pain in the neck, or critters decide to feast on the seedlings.

So instead of direct sowing my fall carrots, decided to experiment and sow in cell pack. The germination was excellent and I did not have to worry about critters.

carrot seedlings (06518)

Top: Cosmic Purple
Bottom: Coreless Nantes

Sow 2 varieties of carrots, cosmic purple and coreless nantes, in cell pack on June 1, 2014 (my sister, Joyce, babysat them while I was on my trip).

cosmic purple carrot seedling (06523)

With the roots so tangled was worried that it would be difficult to separate each seedling but need not worry, the seedlings separated very easily and not as fragile as they look.

(Not sure why the photos of the cosmic purple seedlings in the above photo and the next 2 photos below are so yellow, they were taken in the garden where it was sunny. The previous photo with the green seedlings was taken in a shady location).

cosmic purple carrot seedlings (06524)

Dug a trench and placed the (2-3 inches tall) seedlings about 3-inch apart in the trench

cosmic purple carrot seedlings (06529)

Filled trench with loose soil and watered well

Will the carrots grow long and straight? Find out at a later date.

Hoping for success and looking forward to harvesting many delicious carrots. I shall keep you updated on the progress and results. If successful will definitely start my carrots in cell packs in the future, no more direct sowing.

◊ ◊ ◊

You are not going to believe this.

Something is wrong with the oven of my BRAND NEW stove, very noisy when turned on especially the convection feature, impossible to stay in the kitchen when oven is on. This is supposed to be Electrolux high-end product. Waiting for service center to come and find the problem and take care of it.

Honestly, I didn’t think anything else could possibly go wrong with my kitchen reno. Murphy’s Law at work here!

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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69 Responses to Harvest Monday, July 28, 2014, Peppermint Swiss Chard + Carrots Experiment

  1. Everything is always so healthy from your garden Norma. I didn’t even know you got peppermint swiss chard. Your stir fry looks so tasty!
    Oh no, not something else with the renovation. Insist on a new unit Norma, don’t let them try and fix your oven – it is brand new! I had problems with a new fridge and new freezer – they just don’t make things to last now days – so wrong!
    Have a super day and here’s hoping the oven was the last of the renovation problems.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mandy,
      Thanks, this is the first year I am being introduced to Peppermint Swiss chard and really love it.
      The company will not give me a new unit until they try to fix a few times and cannot solve the problem.
      A super day to you too.

  2. Bah…a NEW stove that doesn’t work…an expensive one at that!!! What is the world coming to???
    Your vegetables look great. My farmer didn’t put in Swiss chard this year. I will miss the beautiful colors (so glad you gave us a picture). We are really enjoying the early cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Isn’t growing FUN!!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Wwishfulthinking,
      They do not make appliances the way they used to, so say many people. I decided to take out extended warranty for both my stove and refrigerator. Sound like you are having a wonderful harvest.

  3. daphnegould says:

    That strifry looks so pretty. I hope those carrots work out for you. I can’t believe they will as rocks will make a carrot fork or stunt. The bottom of a cell pack must be worse. But I’m hoping you get long carrots.

  4. Eva Taylor says:

    Your harvest is beautiful Norma.
    How horrible that your new oven isn’t working well, hope they can find the problem quickly.

  5. Oh I am very curious to see how the carrot experiment goes. I get miserable results with direct sowing, but the boys adore carrots. I like the sound of that oil, too – I’ll definitely give it a try!

  6. Vera Boehm says:

    Norma, I have a very expensive gas high-end Electrolux oven and love it. It does everything but dance. Has dehydrating and a bread proofing settings. I am sure it can be fixed, or else insist on replacement. It seems none of the appliances are built as they used to be. I took out an extended warranty because I am concerned about the oven computer.

  7. Norma you make me know my veggies better. I need to introduce myself to a peppermint swiss chard

  8. kim says:

    How frustrating! Is the rest of the kitchen done? Did you get the cabinet issues resolved?
    Well I do hope it all gets ironed out so you can enjoy your new space with a smile on your face.


    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      Replacement cabinets arrived last Wednesday but they were of the wrong shade of white, can you believe this????? The bright side is, the color discrepancy was discovered before they were installed.

  9. Karen says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your new stove not working properly…another setback to getting your kitchen finished is terrible. The nice thing is that your garden is giving you lots of healthy veggies to stir fry.

  10. Margaret says:

    That carrot experiment is fascinating (I LOVE garden experiments!) Last year I had big issues with germination and slugs/earwigs eating the carrot seedlings, although this year was much better. My issue now is more to do with timing – I’m worried that by the time I pull my current crop, there won’t be enough time for the fall carrots to mature. If I could get them started sooner, that would be a big plus!

    It is so true that appliances are not built to last like they used to be. I’ve even heard of very expensive appliances becoming useless when one little inexpensive part breaks because they “no longer manufacture” it. Quite infuriating.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      I had timing issues with my fall carrots and other fall crops. Will be posting more about my other fall seedlings that I started in June.
      Sure hope I do not have any issues with my fridge and dishwasher. Have not tried my dishwasher yet as the temporary counter prevents me from opening the door.

  11. Your even grow okra!!! I have lots to learn about gardening from you, Norma.

  12. cheri says:

    Hi Norma, I don’t know how many times I have thrown out the chard stalks, love this recipe. So sorry about your stove, I would tell them to replace it, not fix it unless it’s something really simple. I wish I would have done that with my kitchen remodel, now about once a year I have to call someone out for the same problem and it’s a 90.00 dollar charge each time.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cheri,
      Glad to learn you will be using your chard stalks from now on.
      I was told by Electrolux that they will replace the stove only if problem is not solved after a few fixes.

  13. Kristy says:

    I don’t think I have ever heard a good kitchen reno story. They all seem to be very stressful. I had to smile about the macadamia nuts though. I literally just saw a bag of them in my basement not 10 minutes ago and thought hmmm…I’ve had those for a while and I have nothing to do with them. Stir fry is a great idea! If we leaved closer, I would walk you over the bag!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      This is my 2nd kitchen makeover, the first one went smoothly without any problems, so I was totally unprepared for the issues with the current reno Coming to an end soon, I hope. Thanks for the macadamia nuts offer.

  14. Dave's SFG says:

    The Peppermint chard is pretty. I may try it next year, not impressed with Magenta Sunset. Too bad about the oven, but you should keep after them o fix it or replace.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      I am definitely planting Peppermint chard again next year. I think it would be pretty in a flower bed but my deer would demolish it in no time.

  15. hotlyspiced says:

    I wish I could stop by your garden gate. I admire you for doing any cooking at all with the conditions you’re having to put up with. And as for your oven! That really is the last straw xx

  16. That chard is so lovely! I think you deserve a break on your remodeling. It shouldn’t be that problematic!

  17. The way you did your carrots is pretty much how we do our onions, but they’re a bit more tangly to pull apart! Thankfully I gotten it down to a wiggle science now! Loving this happy harvest monday post!

  18. Your greens look so vibrant. Love the peppermint Swiss chard! Oh, geez! You can’t get a break with that kitchen! Soon it will be perfect 🙂

  19. Poor you and that kitchen! When it’s done you are going to be so happy! That peppermind Swiss chard (or silverbeet as it’s called here) looks amazing. I love those stripes.

  20. Oh Norma! I am so sorry that your kitchen renovation is so stressful. I hope you find out why your oven is loud soon and are able to return to normal.

    I love your carrot experiment! As one who has difficulty germinating carrots, I curious as to how things turn out. ~ Rachel @ Grow a Good Life

  21. What delicious looking vegetables, fresh and tasty! A big shame though about your oven, expensive and not working? Ridiculous :/
    Hope it is fixed soon!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Uru,
      Thanks, yes, fresh and tasty. I was told it is wise to purchase extended warranty for appliances as they do not make them the way they used to, very sad indeed.

  22. ChgoJohn says:

    Peppermint Swiss chard? What will they come up with next? I hope it grows in popularity. I’d love to by some at the farmers market. So sorry to hear that your new oven isn’t working properly, Norma. Well, one thing’s for certain. You are going to be one extremely happy cook the day you walk into your new kitchen and everything is installed and working properly. I bet I’ll be able to hear you shout for joy. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Peppermint Swiss chard is so pretty how can any gardener resist planting it. I am sure it is going to gain popularity. Hope you find some at your farmers market.
      When my kitchen is fully installed and working properly, you will hear my shout all the way in Chicago.

  23. Michelle says:

    Oh gosh, I know how you feel. My stove didn’t work when it was new and it turned out that it was wired improperly. They fixed the wiring and then it was ok. I hope your fix is an easy one. I’m growing peppermint chard for the first time this year also and it’s my favorite of the 4 varieties that I’m growing. It’s so pretty and very tasty too.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Michelle,
      Hope my stove’s problem turns out to be as simple as yours and is trouble free after the fix. Definitely growing peppermint chard again next year and future years.

  24. Sophie33 says:

    We call this rainbow Swiss Chard & I love it too! I grow it too! 🙂
    I hope your stove will get fixed soon, Norma! xx

  25. mac says:

    The peppermint chard is so pretty, how’s the taste? I’ve never transplant carrots before, curious to see how yours turn out, please keep us updated.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      The peppermint chard tastes just like any other chard, I could not detect any difference. I hope my carrot experiment is successful, I will be posting updates.

  26. “Like” all of your garden produce and that stir fry with the peppermint chard looks so beautiful and delicious. But I don’t like hearing about your oven. Sigh. Do hope that they get that fixed/replaced and everything else up to snuff for you very, very soon!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Betsy,
      Thanks, it is a pretty chard.
      I am told by many that appliances are not made like in the olden days, to last, so I bought extended warranty for the stove and fridge. Hoping to get oven fixed next week..

  27. Juliana says:

    Beautiful color the Swiss chards, and they sure add color to the stir-fry…every time that I see all your harvest I feel so happy…sorry to hear about the oven…yes, it seems that the problems never end…
    Well, be positive Norma…better day are ahead 😀

  28. wow, good luck with your carrot!!!
    ps: my granma told me that the seeding turn yellow because it’s not get enought sun ray…

  29. Norma, look at those colours!! That HAS to be healthy! And I’ve never had a carrot grow straight.. 🙂 How annoying about the stove, I hope they fix it soon.. xx

  30. Beautiful harvest Norma and love that quick little stir fry. Wow your stove too? Deep breaths maybe it is something simple that can be fixed and if not be sure to make them take the lemon out of your kitchen and replace. Hmm. Does straight carrots really have something to do with the way you plant them? Hoping that your carrots are long and beautiful.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      Yes, I need to make sure the roots are straight and there are no stones in their path before covering with soil. Also if the soil is hard they will grow crooked so soil must be tilled before planting.

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