A Handful of Spinach

Jun 08,2012


When I pulled up the first clump of organic spinach harvested from my garden, I was thinking about Popeye and what a strange concept it was. If you were to market a cartoon to the general American public, why make one about a guy who eats spinach and a guy who eats hamburgers? At the time, as a vegetarian I thought it was a great concept--the spinach-eater was the powerful sailor with giant forearms and the hamburger-eater was fat and named Wimpy. Now, thanks to Wikipedia, the entire history of the Popeye character, and how spinach wasn't featured much in the original comics, is at our fingertips.

Anyway, this is what my garden coughed up:

It's a puny handful compared to what they sell at the supermarkets, but I figure it's a good start and at least hasn't been sprayed with anything. You're supposed to pull spinach up before it starts to flower, so we waited until the very end in the hope that it would get a little bigger. It's supposed to be good sauteed in butter as a side dish.

When we planted the spinach seeds, we mixed them in with carrot seeds in what is called the 'French method' for some reason. We did this because we heard that the spinach would help aerate the soil as it pushed up and would make room for the carrots to grow better. In theory, since the two plants have different harvest times, the spinach can be pulled up just before the carrot seedlings are ready to make their way into the world.

The practical result, since we don't know what we're doing, is that next to the spinach is a bunch of other bug-eaten leaves apparently too delicious to the wild world to have been weeds. That's what we're banking on. I didn't take a picture of them because they're uglier than the Sparrow Bee. We figure we'll give them a couple of weeks to get bigger and then pull one up to see if there's a carrot under there.

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