Suck it, Whole Foods!

by Caroline Brown

Er….the headline I really meant to write was “First Harvest.” But, sorry Whole Paycheck Foods, I will not be needing your services as much now that I am beginning to reap the bounty from my wonderful little community garden plot at Fox Point Community Garden, and now that the Downtown Providence Farmers’ Market where I pick up my community supported agriculture (CSA) box is open.

(Gratuitous cat photos below the fold!)

As you can see below, I am not the only one enamored of the three Swiss chard leaves that I plucked from the garden yesterday.

I love the look on Tiny’s face in this picture! We call him Inspector Puss, because, as my husband Curt put it, he inspects everything (literally) that comes into the house to see if he should be afraid of it, eat it, or play with it. Tiny loves to eat grass and greens, so he has clearly categorized the chard as Something to Potentially Eat.

In the end, however, he didn’t take a taste, only a couple of sniffs. Buuuut, I digress. We’ve had a couple of big rainstorms in the last few days, tons of sun and warm temps before that, so everyone’s plots at the community garden are “bustin’ out.” Three chard leaves may not seem like much…I rode my bike out there and as I was picking the chard, I realized suddenly that I didn’t need my sunglasses anymore. A giant black cloud loomed over me and the 3 miles between the garden and my apartment. So, I finished cutting the chard and bolted out of there without so much as glancing at the spinach and basil, which I suspect are also ready.

Next time I’m there I’ll take my camera! More pics coming.

22 Responses to “Suck it, Whole Foods!”

  1. Yum! My favorite garden green…and those look exceptionally good!

  2. Great post and catchy title!! I can relate to the looming cloud… we say here in the Pacific NW, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 20 minutes!” Love the Inspector Puss. I have a small terrier that does the same thing – every rock, leaf and scrap of mulch gets the once-over when we are outdoors, same thing indoors with bits of paper, crumbs, socks. Your chard is gorgeous, do you ever post recipes? If you are not a vegetarian, do you use bacon crumbles with the chard, with a bit of balsamic vinegar, perhaps?

  3. Hi Bonnie, we have that same saying about the weather here in New England. 🙂 It appears that you have what we would call an Inspector Pooch!

    I’m not a veg. but my husband is so I don’t cook meat. I think the chard is best in a simple salad with chopped red onions and cherry tomatoes with a vinaigrette from balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey mustard. (In fact I’m making myself really hungry.)

    I have a hunch that fellow blogger Geraldine, who published a veg. cookbook, will read this post soon and will probably have a good chard recipe to share.

  4. Can you ship a box of green goodies my way C? I am missing having a garden this year.

    Do share some photos of ‘the plot’ soon, ok! G

  5. PS: Just noted your comment re: chard recipes, thanks for the mention C.

    I do have a Swiss Chard and Feta Quiche and Cream of Swiss Chard soup featured in Not Just for Vegetarians. Yummmmm……Chard is such a great veggie; love the way it continues to grow for weeks, unlike spinach. A slightly milder flavor too.

  6. Tiny: Forget this spinach stuff! Try baby peas with butter on ’em. Now that’s good eatin!

    You are looking good, oh Cat Buddy! Headbonks. Mr. C

  7. Snow Peas: eat the pod with butter or right off the vine. Some of my April peas jumped ship (pod) and started new poorer plants in May. I pulled them last night.
    I saved over 100 dried pod pea seeds for Sept. or prob. October as its hotter n the Hot Bad Place in October.

    My six Armenian Cuke plants are running all over the place so our Master Gardener sold me on no Nitrogen – about five pounds and I am sprinkling a little on each cuke, pepper, flower, chamomille, etc plant for fewer stems / leaves and more flowers / fruits.



  8. Tiny is adorable! The swiss chard looks delectable – I just planted some in my front garden and it’s about 5 inches high…still has a ways to go before it’s ready to eat! Loved your post title.

  9. Nice plot!

    We had a CSA delivery service that was bringing us things over the winter months (FL), and we were hoping for bunches of lettuce and such, but there was none. The CSA has since decreased their range, we think maybe they tried to expand too quickly, with little experience.

    I’d like to start one, but our community/area is weird. We may move from here, so I would hate to get people worked up and say, “Sorry, we’re leaving!”

    That’s helpful to have a cat who inspects everything…you’ll be glad you did one of these days…

  10. I need to harvest some ruby chard this week. Thanks for the reminder! I’d love to see some pictures of the Community Gardens.

  11. Hi there, isnt chard great …. we let some go to seed last year and just let the seeds spread wherever they wanted so this year we didnt have to plant it again ! do this and i think you’ll have the chard in your garden forever:)

  12. Yummiest chard recipe I’ve found so far is over at Cooking Light website. Search Goat Cheese, Polenta, Chard. I like chard better than spinach for the reasons Geraldine noted. I’m in Southern California and I have a yard to putter in, but I still love your little blog, no matter how little we have in common. Gardeners can always relate to each other. Oh, and cat people too!

  13. Just stopping in to say, Happy 4th of July C! 🙂

  14. That’s just what I was hoping to do to our box grocer. Trouble is, with the drought we’re having and our usual cool weather, the only things that came up in my garden this year are peas, beans, 3 lettuce leaves, one piece of dill, and just a few days ago a squash popped through. So, most unfortunately, we’re stuck buying from those pesticide ridden grocers. So pleased to see you have such a luscious green garden going. I hope all is well.

    Alberta Postcards
    … I’m still blogging.

  15. Around here we call Whole Foods “Whole Wallet”.


  16. That chard looks great. I have really grown to love this plant over the last few years of growing it. The plants are hardy and prolific and even handle the occasional light frost. And in addition the taste is great. Hard to go wrong with chard.

  17. Hello, cool blog I stumbled upon here. Always nice to find more people with the same gardening interests. Is there anything better than harvesting a crop you grew yourself? I prefer to grow my crops in a hydroponic system, but traditional gardens are still fun too! Happy growing!

  18. how wonderful- you’ve inspired me to grow my own 🙂

  19. You’re fortunate to have a community garden in your area. Here’s hoping that they keep popping up everywhere!

  20. Helpful tips..glad I found this site!

    Greenhouse lights

  21. Haha! Love the “Suck it wholefoods” declaration. I was in that store the other day and stumbled out feeling disoriented, gagged with advertising and overwhelmed. Needless to say, I NEVER feel that coming away from a garden!

    I just happened upon your site and loved the entry. Hooray for grow-it-yourself.


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