Acelga / Swiss Chard
Acelga (Swiss Chard) is a type of beet that is grown for its large leaf stalks and leaves. Acelga leaves are best prepared like spinach or beet greens - cooking with very little water. Acelga stems have a delicate flavor much like asparagus and are prepared in a similar way. Stems should be stripped of leaves, cut into conveniently sized pieces, and gently steamed in salted water until tender. It grows successfully regardless of soil type, length of day or temperature. We have enjoyed Acelga in the famous "Caldo Gallego" (Galician Stew) and as a substitute to Spinach that can only be grown in the cool months of the year. Acelga can be planted in Spring, grown all summer into fall, and partly into winter until the first freezes and snow comes. I have it growing in 4 gallon pots and with 6 plants, keeps us in the "green". I fertilize them with Miracle Gro, once every month.
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