Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Abundance of Spinach

About 10 years ago I was living in Boulder, Colorado and had my first rental with a yard big enough to have a small garden and was eager to do so. However, I didn't get started until late summer. Normally that's when you end gardening, but I was eager to get started and knew a little about fall gardening. So I planted a 3' x 4' patch of spinach in late September. I did the math and figured I should get a crop of baby spinach around Thanksgiving, before the really brutal winter weather set in. Sure enough, I harvested enough the day after Thanksgiving to make something nice. After that, I just wrote the spinach off as lost. Winter hit and my thriving spinach became pathetic, sad, wilted spinach. It endured freezing temps nearly every night. It was covered with snow, thawed, and covered again, many times over, in fact. I never really noticed that it remained green. I just figured the cold was keeping it from rotting properly.

Then, as it so often does in Colorado, spring hit with a bang. The weather warmed up, flowers started popping up, and the bugs came out. To my surprise, the spinach also revived, and it did so with a vengeance. Within a matter of a week or so I had 3' x 4' of spinach, about 6" deep. Since I had scattered the seeds rather than a neat sowing in rows, there was no space whatsoever between plants. I suddenly found myself trying to find ways to eat spinach for every meal.

Spinach is one of my favorite veggies. It can be cooked in many wonderful ways. It can be eaten raw as a lettuce substitute, either by itself or on burgers and tacos. It is also amazingly nutritious. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. So ever since that first garden, I try to have a little spinach in the ground come winter. So far it has never failed me and has always come back in spring.

No comments:

Post a Comment