Planting a Kitchen Garden with a Child is a Good Way to Begin Spring

Planting a Kitchen Garden with a Child is a Good Way to Begin Spring and La Vie Rustic is proud to offer a carefully curated collection of vegetable seeds and matching planting cards created especially for children.

A Child’s Kitchen Garden Seed Collection contains large seeds for small hands, quick to germinate and grow. Within a few days in most cases, children will discover the first sprouts.

The garden is meant for children and adults to do together from planting to harvest and on into the kitchen, and it is an opportunity for sharing and learning together whether in home, school, or community garden.

Children and adults alike will find a thrill each day as they watch their vegetable seeds grow and develop pods of peas or beans, roots, or buds that they can harvest and proudly bring to the kitchen to share with their family. There is a range of harvest times, from less than 30 days for the radish, up to 180 days for the artichokes.

Organic Chard Growing on Farm 3
Some of the vegetables like the fava beans, artichokes and scarlet runner beans date back to antiquity and have been foods for man for thousands of years. Others, like the Carouby French pea, and rainbow chard date to the 19th century, and have proven to be garden and market garden favorites for over 100 years.

Children growing these vegetables from seeds will be following in the footsteps of the generations who have preceded them, sharing in the process of growing their own food, if only radishes and beans.

As the vegetables grow, children will discover an array of colors, from the first green leaves to the final purple thistle of the artichoke, the scarlet blooms of the runner bean and the orange, red, pink, and white ribs of the chard.Swiss Chard Whole and Chopped

Planting, tending, and harvesting a kitchen garden with a child is one of life’s most rewarding experiences, and a gift that will create lasting memories for a lifetime, as well as an understanding of where food comes from. It is a good beginning.

For more information  visit the Potager page of La Vie Rustic.

Contents: 6 individually packed seed varieties each containing 25 or more seeds and 6 individual cards with complete growing instructions. Price: $18.00



Chard and Spinach Tart with Bacon

The cheese, milk, and egg here are just enough to bind the spinach and chard, so the tart is dense and rich with greens, highlighted by bits of bacon.It’s a simple take on a more complex Chard Tart from Provence that includes raisins.

1 8-inch pie crust
8 chard leaves
1 bunch spinach
2 teaspoons salt
2 slices bacon
2 tablespoons minced onion
3 ounces soft goat cheese
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Pre-heat an oven to 400 degrees F. Place the pie pastry in a 9 – 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the pastry with a sheet of aluminum foil and add pie weights, rice, or dried beans. Place in the oven and bake until the edges are firm, but not golden, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights bake until the bottom is opaque, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven to 375 degrees F.

Trim just the stem end tips of the chard and spinach leaves. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the chard leaves and the salt, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the chard ribs are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook another 5 minutes until the spinach is thoroughly wilted, but still bright green. Remove to a colander and place under running cold water until cool enough to handle. Squeeze the chard and spinach dry with your hands, then finely chop it. Set aside.

In a frying pan over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and return the frying pan to the stove. Add the onions and the chopped chard and spinach and cook, stirring until there is no liquid, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, stirring until it melts and blends with the greens, about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the milk, egg, salt, and pepper and mix well with a whisk. Add the spinach mixture. Crumble the bacon and add it as well. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked tart shell and place in the oven. Dot with butter and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake until the top is deep golden and slightly puffed, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove to a rack and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving. To serve, cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8