So as I said, I needed to call my mom about the seeds she gave me that were supposed to be swiss chard, except weren't.
(Note: my mom speak to me in what we call, "Chinglish" Chinese-English, so I've italicized her dialogue for your imagination)
(Also, this dialogue gives you an idea of what I dealt with growing up)
ME: Hey mom, the seeds that you sent me... I don't think they're swiss chard. Is there any way you can talk to the auntie who gave them to me about what they are exactly?
MOM: They're Chinese chard--- I think...
ME: Chinese chard? What the heck is Chinese chard? What does it look like? Taste like? Have I had this??
MOM: I think it's something called xian cai. You've had it before! You like it!
ME: Uh.. ok. I have no clue what this is still... are you sure? Maybe you should give auntie a call.
MOM: Ok. I give auntie a call and find out for certain.
MINUTES LATER... *ring ring*
MOM: I was wrong. It's a different vegetable.
ME: So what is it?
MOM: It's a different vegetable. I can't pronounce or spell it... Auntie speaks a different dialect and all these asian vegetables have different names anyways.
ME: Wha-? Can you at least tell me what it's like?
MOM: It's green.
MOM: Ok, lots of vegetables are green. You can put it on rice! In soup! with noodles!
ME: But how do I plant it? What temperature or environment does it like? How big does it get? What kind of light does it need? What does it even look like??? AIIE?!?
MOM: It's green with darker green on top!!! About the size of.... arugula?!!
(*This is the only vegetable comparison my mom really knows of... I have no idea why)
*MOM getting huffy* LOOK, if you don't want the seed, YOU CAN THROW IT AWAY.
ME: Ack, I'm not going to throw it away... that would be a waste. I just like to know what I'm growing!
MOM: THROW IT AWAY if you don't want it. I don't know what to tell you about it.
ME: *sighing* I'll just test it in one of my beds... and see what happens... *groan* THANK YOU for the seed...
So, the lessons here are:
1) My mother is an unreliable source for seed
2) LABEL-LABEL-LABEL! (unless it's in Chinese characters, then I'm useless)
3) Gardeners need to be adventurous?
I'll tell you how this mystery seed/plant goes/grows, what it tastes like and take plenty of picks this season! I am excited/scared about its prospects.