Combining Two Super Crops: Buckwheat and Swiss Chard
When it comes to superfoods, it’s usually berries or green things that get all the attention. Sure, berries and greens are great, but there are other superfood types worth exploring! Today, we’re going to mix two different super crops together to make our own delicious concoction – buckwheat and Swiss chard! Let’s get right into it, shall we?
A leafy green vegetable, Swiss chard is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and magnesium. Plus, it has a high water content, so it’s great for staying hydrated. Swiss chard is also a good source of fiber, which can help with digestion. And last but not least, this leafy green is low in calories but high in nutrients, making it a great addition to any healthy diet.
Buckwheat – An ancient grain, buckwheat is gluten-free, making it a good option for people with wheat allergies or celiac disease. It also packs in quite a few essential nutrients, including magnesium, folate, manganese, calcium, zinc and B vitamins. But what really makes buckwheat stand out is its impressive amount of protein (up to 20 percent of your daily value per 1 cup serving). It’s also known as a great source of tryptophan — an amino acid that helps boost your mood. Like chard, buckwheat is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber which can help promote healthy digestion.
How they taste together
Buckwheat and Swiss chard are two super crops that pack a powerful nutritional punch. When combined, they make a delicious and healthy meal that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The slightly nutty flavor of buckwheat pairs perfectly with the slightly bitter taste of Swiss chard, making for a well-rounded and flavorful dish. Plus, the vibrant colors of these two super crops make for a beautiful plate that is sure to please the eyes as well as the taste buds.
The nutrient profiles of these two super crops are equally impressive. Both buckwheat and Swiss chard are packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese. In addition to being great sources of antioxidants—which play a role in helping your body fight off diseases like cancer—buckwheat also provides some protein while helping regulate blood sugar levels. Meanwhile Swiss chard is one of very few foods that provide significant amounts of vitamin K as well as vitamins A and C. It’s also a great source of iron for those who don’t get enough from their diet.
How they look together
In the garden, buckwheat has a lot going for it. The flowers are beautiful, the plants grow quickly, and the crop is easy to care for. But what about combining it with another crop? Swiss chard is a great option. The two crops look great together, and they have complementary growing seasons. Plus, they both offer a lot of nutritional benefits. Here’s a closer look at these two super crops.
Of course, to get any benefit from these crops you’ll have to eat them. Both buckwheat and Swiss chard are fantastic ingredients. This leafy green is as versatile as they come, with many different varieties available in different colors including red, yellow, white, orange and pink. It’s also packed with vitamins A, B6 and C; iron; folate; magnesium; manganese; phosphorus; potassium; riboflavin (vitamin B2); selenium; thiamine (vitamin B1); zinc, as well as phytonutrients—all on a very low calorie count! The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach or kale.
Growing them together
The first step is to grow your buckwheat. You’ll need about 10 pounds of buckwheat per 100 square feet. After the buckwheat is up and growing, you can then direct seed your Swiss chard between the buckwheat plants. You’ll need about two ounces of seed per 100 square feet. The seeds will germinate in seven to 10 days. Once the seedlings are up, thin them so that they’re about eight inches apart. The chard will be ready to harvest in 50 to 60 days.
Make sure that you grow both your buckwheat and Swiss chard in full sun. If your growing area doesn’t get full sun throughout most of the day, you can supplement it with artificial light to help make up for any shortfall. Both crops are heat-loving plants so you’ll need to keep them out of any cold drafts if possible by growing them on a patio or deck in an area where they’ll be protected from wind and rain. While they’re growing, you’ll want to water your plants regularly but not let them dry out between watering as well as making sure there’s adequate drainage around their roots. It’s also important to add a balanced fertilizer every three weeks while they’re actively growing.
For more information on growing buckwheat, check out The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible. And for more details on how to grow Swiss chard, check out Storey’s Guide to Growing Your Own Vegetables. Both books are widely available in your local library, or you can purchase them at your local bookstore or online. If you’re interested in learning more about growing any other specific crops, see if your library has one of these other gardening books by authors Mark Adams, Barbara Damrosch, Margaret Roach and Eliot Coleman among others. They offer great tips for growing a wide variety of vegetables including broccoli, cabbage lettuce, squash and herbs that all gardeners will find useful.