I really should eat more spinach. Or perpetual spinach, to be precise.
According to the RMS Veg Savings Spreadsheet, it is by far the most expensive vegetable presently on the plot or in the store. At £8.30 a kilo, it is £1.30 more expensive at that weight than the next priciest veg, curly kale.
Healthy and Readily Available
Not that this is why I should increase my spinach intake. I should harvest this wondrous leafy green because it is really healthy. Perpetual spinach is actually a type of chard, but from what I can gather, is still as good for me as the true Popeye stuff. The only difference is that perpetual spinach is available all year round.
Generally, my sowings have lasted me about 9 months before going to seed, meaning that with a little careful planning, I’ve been munching spinach continuously for the last three years. Even better than this, it is a come and cut again vegetable, meaning the more I pick it, the more it grows.
So not only is it tremendously good for me, its hardy and there whenever I want it.
Plus, it’s a little like covert healthiness. One of the things I love most about spinach is its versatility. I’ve folded it into all sorts of recipes where it isn’t required but has tasted great, and upped my 5 a day count with no fuss whatsoever.
Curries, tarts, fajitas, pizzas, pasta, and quiches have all had some succulent spinach leaves squeezed into them. I steam or blanche the spinach first, and then just envelope it into the rest of the ingredients.
Dead Easy to Grow
Perpetual spinach is also possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever grown. I sow half a row in early Spring and another one in late Autumn, which sees me right all through the winter. I sprinkle seeds into a thinly dug row, and then just keep the row watered. Normally I don’t even bother to thin the seedlings out.
It is also more than happy in shade, so makes great veg to grow if you’ve got a sun-starved spot on the allotment.
All this brings me back to my first sentence. I really should eat more spinach. I’ve only made a measly six pickings this year, saving £4.64 from a total of 559g. It’s almost as if I take the spinach’s proud permanent presence for granted.
Perpetual Spinach in Containers
I think half my trouble is that slipping spinach into dinner is often an off the cuff decision, and not something I plan harvests around.
This year, I have a cunning plan. I’m going to grow some perpetual spinach in a container down the side of my house (or soon-to-be lovely summer kitchen garden as I prefer to call it!). A decent trough-type pot should do it, and lovely spinach will be on hand whenever I need it.