Friday, August 14, 2009

I am spoiled, but there is no comparison

I am about two weeks from harvesting another batch of chard and I was planning on starting another fifteen or twenty plants until this morning. My plan changed when my wife announced that one of her friends told her that a farm in Kinderhook, NY had pick your own chard for $1.25 per pound. We all know how ladies are when they are on the scent of a bargain, so I thought discretion is the better part of valor and said sure let's go.

I was not impressed with the place at all. When you arrive they give you what they call a "map" and list of vegetables that can be picked, after that you are on your own.

We could not find the swiss chard so I went back to entrance and told them I was having difficulty finding it. The man said "did you see the tomatoes?" I replied that I had, and he said that the chard was before the tomatoes. Then he said "there are only a few rows and you have to look for it because the weeds are higher than the chard."

I thought: this does not sound good! Well, we found the chard right where he said it would be, but it is nowhere near where the map shows it should be. They must be handing out last year's maps to save money.

To make a long story short; we picked about fifteen pounds of chard. I have never seen field grown chard, and I thought it looked pretty awful compared to mine. We had some for dinner and it was tough, stringy and bitter. My wife looks at the bright side and says it will taste better in January. For my part, when this is gone, it will be the last batch of field grown chard I intend to eat, ever.

I would wager that you could look through all 300 feet of their chard and not find one perfect plant, and, that you could look at every plant of my chard and not find one imperfection.

And, there is no comparison when it comes to the difference in taste and texture. Commercially growing chard hydroponically may not be economically practical, and that is a pity, as few will ever get to enjoy it as we have.

If you are into hydroponics you should consider growing a batch of chard. It grows quickly and requires minimum care.

My next greenhouse experiment will be hydroponic cabbage. I am not crazy about cabbage, however I could never grow it in my garden because of insect damage, so I am determined to finally grow one.

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