No, I'm not talking about the 1956 James Dean flick -- I'm talking about chard! Lookit this giant leaf of chard. This variety is called 'Fordhook Giant' and now I know why! (That's a quarter on top of the leaf) This one leaf is 17 inches long!
These chard plants are over a year old. Despite last summer's drought and last winter's freezes, they are still putting out sweet, tasty, tender, HUGE leaves. Our favorite way to prepare chard is a quick saute in olive oil with lots of garlic and chopped onion. YUM.
As I went out to harvest this bounty, Jack mentioned me he chased off a bunch of grackles today that were "eating our chard." Hmm, I thought, I didn't know grackles ate chard. It didn't take it long for me to figure out what the grackles were eating. It wasn't the chard, it was ON the chard!
I showed Jack the caterpillar and suggested that next time he sees a buncha grackles in the vegetable garden, he might want to leave the grackles alone to do their job. Let 'em earn their keep, so to speak. Love 'em or hate 'em, grackles are great bug eaters. Yeah, they might eat a few earthworms, they might eat some butterfly caterpillars, but they might eat some bad bugs too. Whaddya gonna do? It's nature. Sometimes, you can't control these things.
Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.