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Country Discussion Topics
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Poison chard?
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Tom A    Posted 05-26-2002 at 04:22:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Worked in the garden all day yesterday. We have some spinach and some Swiss Chard that wintered over from last year. While I was working, I grabbed a few leaves of each and munched. Most was delicious, but one of the chard plants had a leaf that was very, very bitter. I ate it anyway.

Few hours later, I had a very sore throat, and looked down it to see that the back of my throat looked like strep--almost bloody red. Mentioned it to my wife who was surprised and said she had the same thing. Turns out she had also tasted the 'bad' chard plant. This morning after a mostly sleepless night--I eventually got up and slept on the couch 'cuz I noticed the missus wasn't sleeping either and figured I was keeping her up--I mentioned the bad night and that I kept feeling 'crawly things' on my all night when there weren't any (I got up several times to look). Again, turns out she had the same feeling. So my question is: was it the year-old chard? Anybody hear of anything like this before? We ate off the chard all last year and never had a problem with any of it, so is it something about wintering over or might it be something in our soil?


DeadCarp    Posted 05-26-2002 at 07:50:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wasn't a rhubarb leaf by any chance was it? I can tell ya that stuff does a number on throats. Most any plant gets scared by picking and starts getting bitter until nothing eats it anymore. That's why the garden stuff gets tougher & less flavorful as the season goes along. First crop seems the sweetest? Yep, it is - natural defense.

If you want one last glorious harvest from an old fruit or nut tree, give it a few hard licks with a hammer. Bruising the bark will make it feel threatened and try extra hard to reproduce. The fruit won't be very tasty but it'll be big. Maybe this leaf sprouted from an old oft-threatened root.

Salmoneye    Posted 05-26-2002 at 05:37:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Never heard of a reaction to chard.
Ours wintered and was the only thing green in the garden after the snow melted.
ALL the local cottontails ate off that...up to 3 at a time some mornings.

Ron/Pa    Posted 05-26-2002 at 04:29:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Might warrent at least a quick call to the poison controll center, they have alot of info on plants and reactions.
Good luck

Matt    Posted 02-24-2005 at 20:42:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
A friend recently tried to tell me that uncooked Chard was poisonous (which would explain the bitter taste). Dunno, but in nature 'red' does tend to be a warning... perhaps the red veins were consumed this year, and they weren't last year.

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