I'm a Southern woman with family roots in farming. An Appalachain State University graduate, married, and the mother of two, grown and very nice, children. I am recently retired with a long-time hobby of growing flowers, vegetables and houseplants. Now a Master Gardener intern, earned in April 2017, I am excited to give to my community through gardening and gardening related events.
To learn more about the North Carolina State University sponsored Master Gardener program contact your county North Carolina Cooperative Extension office.
We were at a dinner at UNC-Pembroke this week were my husband announced to our table that our dinner table at home is covered with pots of seedlings and seed packets. It's true. They also line the kitchen window sills and clutter the counters. Fact is , I have projects everywhere, even Katie's bedroom, because it's sunny and warm there. Perhaps it's time for a greenhouse, with a brick floor and a solar panel for a lightbulb and a chair and...it's turning into a conservatory. Anyway, this hapless group of victims didn't see it coming when they asked disbelieving, "What can you grow now!?" I started listing and when I took a breath to continue one poor soul asked, "What is Swiss Chard." I really will have to send him a bag because it is my answer to the spinach germination problem. Spinach is just so picky about conditions for sprouting and then God forbid it should get hot for even a day. It will bolt in a heartbeat. But, Swiss Chard is a most forgiving substitute with the most beautiful edible stems. It doesn't mind heat if planted and established in spring and will grow under cover all winter. It stands in nicely for spinach in recipes so I don't bother trying to grow Popeye's greens any more. Swiss Chard has a cut and come again quality about it too. Win-win.