Cut and what? Cut-and-come-again harvesting is the name for the technique we use at the Community Garden at Holy Nativity for harvesting all of our leafy greens. Chard, kale, collards, all are handled this way.
Think of the little girl’s game with the daisy: “he loves me, loves me not.” She plucks the petals one by one. Shift the little girl over to a rose, and imagine she’s pulling the big petals off first. That’s how we harvest greens, leaf by leaf.
Choose the largest, fullest leaves, which are generally connected to the plant stalk closest to the ground, not unlike “the biggest petals of the rose.” Cut these largest leaves off, right where they join the plant stalk. Leave the tiny junior leaves on the plant to grow further.
Over time, your trimmed plant will grow from the “center of the rose” and be harvested from the outside. Over time, your plant will start to be like a palm tree, with a tall stalk with a fluff of foliage at the top.
With cut-and-come-again harvesting you can get many months from a single plant without having to go through the challenging seeds and seedling phases (which is even more challenging in our public garden) multiple times. We find it much more efficient to keep an existing plant happy and productive.