Category Archives: Spinach

Okinawa Spinach (紅鳳菜) & it’s Purple!!

While neatening the planting bed held by a retaining wall, I noticed that the Okinawa Spinach has started growing in length again. I guess it “knows” that it’s Fall now and it’s comfortable to run wild (again). Literally translated  紅鳳菜 actually means Red Phoenix Vegetable but it’s actually Purple so how can I miss out on Cee’s Super Fun Foto Challenge?

Purple underside

Purple underside

Worker ant likes this veggie too

Worker ant likes this veggie too

We share food

We share food

Hmm… I wonder if Popeye ever got to taste this variety of spinach. Simply stir-fried with sesame oil, garlic and ginger … it goes so well as a vegetable accompaniment with meat or rice main meal.
Oh! and excellent in quiche with bacon and cheese too.

 

Re-seeding left to Nature

Soon, the cool weather vegetables will grow, hopefully, to cover grounds which once bore its parent.  “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree…”  Luke 13:19

Mine won’t be a great tree but I see signs that my Asian Spinach (Bayam/苋菜) is ready to grow and provide me with some excellent greens for Fall.  A mother plant, left to grow since Spring has produced thousands of seeds.

Bayam seeds on the mother plant.

Bayam seeds on the mother plant.

And these seeds are smaller, much smaller, than mustard seeds.

Micro size seeds

Micro size seeds

Yet they bring such joy, as signs of life emerge… slowly but surely, around their mother plant.

Asian spinach seedlings

Asian spinach seedlings

And soon I will have spinach stir-fries ~ with olive oil & garlic; with sambal paste; with salted beans & tofu … *sigh* I wish Popeye was neighbor, I’d gladly share.

Just for information, I do not uproot each plant for harvest. I cut off each stem leaving 2″ and 8 out of 10 will regrow, as if they have been coppiced.  Roots left in the ground will eventually turn to compost and feed the worms and their micro buddies in the soil… it’s just a stage in the biological life cycle.  :mrgreen:

New Zealand Spinach

One of the few greens that grow well in warm weather and spreads as a good thick ground cover is the perennial New Zealand Spinach. Well, perhaps it’s growing so well in our present heat-wave is because I grow most of mine on the East side where the morning sun does not dry the soil so drastically.

NZ spinach

NZ spinach

Tiny yellow buds and seeds which are still green.

Tiny yellow blooms and seeds which are still green.

Brown seeds will soon fall and re-grow.

Brown seeds will soon fall and re-grow.

When a few gardening friends visited this morning and mentioned its refreshingly green leaves and cute little flowers, it made me realize that I have actually taken this delicious spinach a little for granted. They just grow and re-grow, making them available for additions to salads, omelets, pasta, noodles, etc. and only slow their growth, temporarily thinning out, during a Florida winter when there is frost.

Is each plant actually growing continuously or are seeds perpetually re-growing? I do not know for sure (yet) but if it falls under the category “Perennial”, I’ll agree to that.

It looks like Blood!

As I was cutting some Malabar Spinach this morning for a mixed vegetable stir-fry for brunch, it suddenly struck me that the vine stems look like the tubes of blood that I saw the other day at the Blood Donation Center.  Urgh!

Malabar Spinach

Malabar Spinach