Swiss Chard bolting : Still edible ?

My swiss chard has bolted some time ago. The stalks are about 3 foot tall. I am hoping to gather some seeds from it for next planting.
My question is: Can we continue to eat it..? Will it still be palatable ? I've heard that some plants become more bitter when this happens.
= Me
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It should be fine, in fact the little leaves that it makes around the flower stem will be quite tender and sweet.
David
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I agree, but the older leaves and the stalks will be tough.
Only 3' tall though? Mine have always been more like 6'!
Mary

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On Mon, 12 May 2008 09:31:12 +0100, Mary Fisher wrote:

>>>
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About 5' on average.

There's a proper inflorescence.

I don't live in a state (except of chaos!), I live in Yorkshire, England.

A few months, I've sown the seed in early summer and harvested the greens and stems, they've stood through the winter than in spring they bolt.
I grow 'rainbow' chard, i.e. there are many different coloured stems. I love the flavour, Spouse tolerates it. But he agrees that the colours are so beautiful that they're worth having in the agrden. I haven't sown any this year because we're short of room. We only have a small garden and one of the veg plots has been turned into a soft fruit cage this year so I only have three small patches dedicated to vegetables.
Mary
Mary
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Nice if you have room to let them continue on but some of mine are crowding the garden and as a result they are not long for this world. Time for them to move on and make room for the next generation.
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Billy

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On Sun, 11 May 2008 17:38:16 -0400, MrMe wrote:

Thanks David. I'll give 'em a try. In fact I felt like a fool for asking before I tried some of the chard this evening. I felt for sure someone would reply with "Why not try them for yourself before posting". So I did. I didn't notice anything different about it at all. Still good as ever.
I love the Swiss Chard stalks. This particular crop was planted last spring and grew over the winter. Due to the cold weather it did not grow so much in the leaf, but the stocks grew in width. Some of the stocks were close to 3 inches wide by the time spring of this year rolled around. And then the leaves caught up in growth. And now some of it is 3 feet tall and have an abundance of green flowers at the top. I'm hoping to get some seed (corms) from them. I planted more just before winter and will be chowing on it soon. BTW, it is growing here in North Carolina. Mild winters, hot summers.
Do you know anything about gathering them corms David ?
Thanks again,
= Me
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Your plants will still be edible. Pick all the leaves once you harvest the seeds as the plants will die. They're biennials.

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You can slow things down by cutting the bolting stalk.
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Billy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KVTfcAyYGg&ref=patrick.net

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I have not gotten more leaves that way. They just threw up more but smaller seed stalks. If I don't want the seeds, and how many seeds can one use, I cut the stalk off and eat the rest of the plant.

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The chard isn't dying, it's bolting. I've had some plants for seven to eight years. Cut them back and use the small leaves in salads.
--

Billy
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On Sun, 11 May 2008 17:38:16 -0400, MrMe wrote:

Thank you all for your posts. All have been very helpful and most encouraging. It was especially good to hear that I can continue to harvest right up until it goes to seed ( at which time I will do a final harvest, steam slightly and then freeze in portions ).
Thanks to all,
= Me
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On Sun, 11 May 2008 17:38:16 -0400, MrMe wrote:

Hey ... Nobody ever mentioned that wasps like to build their little hives attached to the underside of large leaves.... I've found 3 so far, and tonight I was pickin' some of them smaller leaves off the main stalk and a couple wasps buzzed my head.. I ran like hell ( allergic to bee sting ) .
Can't wait to cook them small leaves up an eat'em.
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MrMe wrote:

Those wasps do make life more exciting at times! Last year, wasps were building two or three nests a week around my place. This year hasn't been so prolific, thankfully. I'm allergic to bee stings too, but not to wasp stings. Lucky me!?
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