Yesterday I harvested (and ate) the first of my Swiss Chard crop. It was so delicious. As far as I'm concerned, better than spinach and much easier to grow plus you get the edible stalks which, once they've grown large enough, can be served as a vegetable in their own right.
I had serious doubts as to whether it would grow in my shady garden - the chard bed which is about 2ft wide by 3 ft long only gets sun for a couple of hours a day - but they don't seem to mind at all. Better still, the plants are very close together so I have around 24 plants which, judging from the first harvest, will feed the two of us throughout the season and, possibly even have some to freeze.
This is a great crop as you only harvest a few outer leaves from each plant at a time, and the plant just keeps on putting on more leaves.
Although the leaves look very pale, they darken up when cooked and look just like spinach. The taste is similar too.
Of course, when growing so intensively, they need a feed every week but that's a small thing to ask in return for such a wonder vegetable.