Simply Spinach

I am linking Tuesday’s post with Dayle’s Simple Pleasures series. Go see her wonderful photos and visit the other bloggers… and see whether your day, like mine, gets a relaxing breath of fresh air.

Malabar Spinach!

A dear friend on staff at UT Arlington gave me the first plants last year. He thinned a few from the clump in his garden and planted them in a used Cool Whip tub for me. “It’s called Malabar Spinach,” he told me. “It’s a summer spinach.”

My eyes lit up as I imagined myself picking fresh spinach for salad in July. No more would I have to wait until Thanksgiving to have any greens from my garden! I planted the young sprouts next to the 2-foot-high chicken-wire (and supposedly dog-proof) fencing around my little veggie patch, watered them in, and waited. Sure enough, they soon took hold and began to climb all over the fence.

I later learned that Malabar is not a true spinach; either way, I think this is the Perfect Plant. The thick leaves are delicious — similar to spinach but without that gritty taste — and smooth, so they’re easy to wash. They’re pretty, too, a nice glossy green with a maroon shadow underneath. (I have a cultivated variety called “Rubra.”) The vine has striking dark purple-red stems, and seems to bloom all the time: little pink spheres that mature to shiny black berries. As the older flowers mature, the stalk keeps growing and putting out new blooms at the end. I recently discovered that the last couple of inches of flower stalk is just as tasty as the leaves, and makes a pretty salad garnish.

I find a Simple Pleasure in being outside, soaking in the quiet sunlight and admiring my “spinach.” Then, I also enjoy the “oomph” it adds to salads. There’s just something wonderful about picking and eating food I have grown for myself. It makes me feel connected to both nature and its Creator.

Thanks for reading!
Jan
PS: Save some of the berries to plant the next spring.

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9 Responses to Simply Spinach

  1. Karen says:

    What a treat! Yes, it is wonderful watching things grow, enjoying the beauty and then getting to have it on the table.

    Like

  2. Dayle says:

    Jan, you are so right about being in the outdoors … whether growing food of flowers is one of the greatest simple pleasures in life. I feel closest to God outdoors than anywhere else. Beautiful post. Your spinach plant is so pretty.

    Like

  3. gnee says:

    I’ve never heard of this and it is just beautiful. The fact that you can eat it and that it’s good…win, win win!

    Like

  4. Trish says:

    I love spinach! Your Malabar spinach is so pretty, I can well understand you enjoying your garden being graced with this lovely plant! Simple, pretty and delicious. What a pleasure 🙂 blessings..Trish

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  5. Sue says:

    I love spinach, the shape, the colours and the taste. Yours is a very pretty colour.

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  6. Sarah says:

    love the outdoors and watching plants and vegies grow and then getting to eat them…there’s something so amazing about that.

    Like

  7. Tammy says:

    Wonder if it would grow in a pot here. An Australian friend grew all kinds of greens in pots for salads. Definitely need something that would just take over and grow like crazy. I do have a tomato plant that gets bigger by the day. And mint will be grown when the weather gets cooler. Hope you are having a terrific Thursday! 🙂 Tammy

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  8. Debbie says:

    I agree! After years of not gardening vegetables, we put in some this past year, and it was a true pleasure. The first to come up was spinach. I was delighted!

    Like

  9. Jan says:

    I appreciate all of you ladies stopping by, and enjoyed what you brought to the “party” too.

    Like

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