Welcome to our third Garden Bloggers Harvest Day this 5th day of March 2012. Our Two Gardens have surprised us again this summer!  We love sharing with you the delights of our gardens on this day each month! Also, having a peek into your veggie patches will inspire and delight! There is so much to grow and enjoy! We can create great meals from our patch of heaven in our gardens! What’s growing in your edible garden?

Let’s see what can be harvested from Barbies Garden this month

Well, I have never enjoyed such a bountiful harvest as I have this month. I picked and picked and picked……. tomatoes and chillis and butternut squash. I have enough to see me through to the next season. I have never been successful with butternut squash and all my fellow Philadelphian veggie gardeners are green with envy because all their squash was stung by something – I could not give then any advice, though, because I did nothing special! Wonder what it is! The leafy greens have delighted and are still producing, regardless of the intense heat! What champs! The herbs are plentiful and keep all my dishes flavourful and colourful. Thank you, my garden – you have done well. This month of March I have cleared the beds for the winter sowing. I will keep you posted on what I plant. Enjoy yours!

Bountiful butternut harvest!

Second growth of broccoli

Mass of mint – I think it is spearmint

Italian flat leaf parsley – the best!

Red cabbage nearly ready to pick

Still enjoying the hot chilli

Figs are nearly over-mine were lovely

Melt in your mouth sweet and juicy

What a bumper crop I got!

All the best ingredients for a pasta sauce

Let’s not forget the sweet basil

Lots of leafy greens in my garden

Not quite ripe yet

Love my lemons-patiently waiting

Guavas are a winter fruit-still awhile to go

 

Pick of the Month

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard - Chard and the other beets are chenopods, a group which is either its own family Chenopodiaceae or a subfamily within the Amaranthaceae. Although the leaves are eaten, it is in the same group and subfamily as beetroot (garden beet), which is usually grown primarily for its edible roots. Chard is also known by its many common names such as Swiss chard, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, bright lights (due to the bright and vivid spring colors when they are cooked or provided as a medley of vegetables), seakale beet, and mangold and is one of the cultivated descendants of the sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima.

Swiss chard is high in vitamins A, K and C, with a 175 g serving containing 214%, 716%, and 53%, respectively, of the recommended daily value. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein.

(Courtesy of wikipedia.org)

Bone health benefits: This high in calcium content dark green leafy vegetable is easy to absorb. Together with vitamin K and magnesium it provides more than six times the daily requirement recommended for your body. As per research, one cup of cooked leaves of Swiss chard helps to support healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis. We all know calcium plays a great role in maintaining our bones but when added with vitamin K1, it helps to prevent excessive action by osteoclasts i.e. the cells which act as a main agent to break down bone. Presence of vitamin K2 helps to anchor the calcium in place.

Act as antioxidants: Swiss chard is a store house of antioxidants along with vitamin K; vitamin C and vitamin A. Antioxidants provide a helping hand to protect the body from the free radicals and harmful toxic substances. As per various researches, antioxidants present in this green leafy vegetable helps to prevent and treat coronary artery disease and various other diseases.

Prevent inflammation: Presence of various vitamin and mineral help to prevent inflammation which has been occurred exterior as well as interior.

Reduces Blood Pressure:  1 cup of cooked leaves of Swiss chard contains a person’s daily recommended content of potassium, which helps to maintain the level of blood sugar. Swiss chard being rich in potassium content helps to reduce the level of blood sugar, especially when it gets replaced by the sodium. On the other hand, Swiss chard contains high amount of fibre content that helps to reduce the level of blood cholesterol.

Maintain proper heart health: Along with various other vitamins and nutrients, Swiss chard stores vitamin K that helps to classify the blood vessels and hardness the arteries. It also helps to maintain clotting of normal blood. Presence of magnesium content helps to deal with various cardiovascular diseases. According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, Swiss chard acts as a helping hand to deal with hypertension.

Maintain proper skin health: Swiss chard is good for skin maintenance and skin health. This cousin of spinach helps to boost up skin glow. Presence of vitamin A along with vitamin C plays a great role in the production of collagen, providing skin health and prevention of acne.

Boost up immune system: The immune system gets a boost from Swiss chard. Vitamin A and vitamin C is essential to stimulate and improve the function of body immune system.

Maintain proper eye health: Swiss card feature 110% of the daily requirement of vitamin A content in your diet. Vitamin A content in Swiss chard helps to protect your eyes against macular degeneration and ensures good eye health.

Prevent anaemia: Swiss chard is useful for people suffering for anaemia. Swiss chard has a good source of iron and as per research; iron is always consider for the treatment of anaemia. Presence of iron content is essential to make red blood cells which act as an oxygen carrier. The leafy vegetable also houses B complex vitamins, which helps to cure tiredness and depression.

Recipe

Spinach and Feta Quiche – Barbies own fool proof recipe

Pastry:

1 cup cake flour
50g hard butter cut into small blocks
1/4 cup ice water

Directions: Please flour in food processor and blend in the butter blocks to create a crumbly consistency. Add the ice water and watch the dough ball form. When it is a ball, remove and knead it for at least 1 minute to break the gluten to get a springy, elastic consistency. Wrap in glad wrap and place in fridge for at least 15 minutes. In this time you can prepare the quiche contents and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Spinach and Feta Quiche:

Collect handfuls Swiss Chard/Spinach from your garden
2 to 3 blocks of feta cheese
3 organic eggs, from your friendly chickens – beaten
1 cup cream

Directions: Clean spinach and add wet to a pot to blanch for 1 minute until wilted. Chop up into small pieces. Chop up the feta cheese into small 10mm blocks. Put to one side as you take out the pastry and roll to fit into a quiche dish, sprinkle flour to your work surface. Once nicely laid out add the spinach and feta cheese evenly. Add the cream to the beaten eggs and pour over the top of spinach and feta. I do not need to add any seasoning, but if you wish now is the time. Back in oven for at least 30 minutes or until it springs back when you touch it and the crust is lightly brown.

Enjoy with a garden salad!

About Garden Bloggers Harvest Day

Please join us on the 5th of every month and show us what you’ve harvested. Whether you have a massive vegetable garden or grow a few herbs in pots or just pick a few peaches from a tree … we’d love to see! Its all about sharing our experiences, photographs, successes and failures as we “learn to grow”.

So prepare a post on your blog about what you harvested this past month, link up to us at The Gardening Blog and then, add your link to the Mr. Linky below so we can all visit your blog and “share in your harvest”. And leave us a comment! We LOVE hearing from you!

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