Stems and leaves are both edible, but generally are cooked separately as stems take longer to cook.
Boil, steam, stir-Fry/Saute, Braise/Stew, Pressure Cook, Microwave, Raw
Harvesting begins after five leaves have developed and can continue until flowering occurs.
Flavor of small, developing leaves is more mild than older leaves and the
texture is more tender. Harvest outside leaves when they are 4 to 8 inches tall.
Most cultivars produce between 22 and 26 leaves.
Young plants may be thinned and used for food.
When plant reaches full size, harvest by cutting off entire clump at ground level.
Storage and Preservation Methods
Spinach can be stored fresh for a few days in the refrigerator but should not be allowed to dehydrate.
Leaf vegetables are best when served the same day harvested.
Chard is also well adapted to freezing and canning.
A second crop can be planted in late summer for fall harvest.