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The Growing Challenge Update

A while back I made a commitment to participate in The Growing Challenge. The deal was that all participants would grow at least one fruit or vegetable from seed, that they've never grown before. Growing something new is never a problem for me. I'm always trying something different from way back in the hardly ever read pages of the seed catalogs. Nope the hard part for me would be posting about it.

Most of my posts are done off the top of my head at the last minute when I should be on my way to work or late at night when I'm half asleep. Actually keeping track of something and planning posts around that something might be hard for me.

But let's give it a shot anyway. Here's my update. I finally got my seeds in the ground. WooHoo! You may be thinking, hmmm, not very impressive and you're right. When I was wandering around the way back in the hardly ever read pages of the seed catalogs, I picked Beetberry, Chioggia Beets and German Chamomile. But since I picked those three, I got a bit distracted and started growing Pak Choi and Swiss Chard. I've never grown them before either, in fact I've never even eaten Swiss Chard before but saw a great pasta recipe for it and bought the seeds anyway.

With my attention going to these late winter greens as well as the broccoli rabe, red onions, arugala and blue potatoes that I always plant in the spring, my Growing Challenge seeds just kind of sat around.

But in a better late than never moment, I planted the Beets and the Beetberry this weekend. Don't ask me about the Chamoile. I think I lost it in my disaster of a garage. There will be a post is December about how I was getting the Christmas decorations out and I found my chamoile seeds.

Last frost in my area of New Jersey is usually between May 15th and May 30th. So these early spring seeds may have been planted too late but let's see what happens. And if nothing happens, I'll just change my Growing Challenge picks to the Pak Choi and the Swiss Chard, which are doing quite well by the way.


  1. Yolanda Elizabet said...
    You still have frost AFTER the Ice Saints? Good grief. I grew swiss chard for the first time last year and enjoyed it very much as it was very nice to look at in the potager (I grew the ones with red stems and leaves) and very tasty on my plate. Good luck with yours!
    Anthony said...
    Hi Yolanda.

    The Zone people say that we could get frost as late as May 15th but in the past 5-10 years, I don't thinks happened too often.

    This year, I don't think it's dropped below 45 in about a month.
    sarah k. said...
    Hi, I've been reading your blog for a while now, and since I'm such a novice gardener, I never leave comments. Today, though I want to tell you how much I love chard. I planted rainbow chard, beets, and lettuces about a month ago, and when I went out to thin them, I managed to collect a tiny handful of pinky-finger sized greens. I took them inside and rinsed them, put them in a little bowl, put a few drops of salad dressing on, and had the best salad of my life. The bay chard is fantastic.

    My kids also liked sauteed ribboned chard mixed in with buttered noodles. Chard recipes always say to discard the stalks, but I never do. I dice them and saute them, then add the leaves a few minutes later. If you have rainbow or ruby chard, it's such a shame to toss the beautiful stalks, and they're really yummy.

    So good luck with your chard this year! I planted sugar pumpkins for the first time, and basil (which I've only ever bought as seedlings). And I think this year is the first time I ever planted carrots! Oh, and corn.

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