My second harvest from my vegetable garden is Spinach! I will be Popeye the Sailor Man! 

The seeds were sowed end March and seedlings popped out in a couple of weeks. In the beginning, the seedling were flawless. Bright green, shaped like robust blades of grass and most important of all, flawless. Not a speck on their faces. Two weeks later, they were still looking good as their narrow blades evolved into ovate green leaves. 

14 April 2022. A couple of weeks after the seeds were sowed.
Two weeks later (28 April 2022). The young ones are growing strong.

Hélas! Good things don’t come easy. Spinach leaf miner, a kind of fly, lays eggs on the leaves. The larvae from these eggs get between the layers of a leaf and feed on the chlorophyll, leaving the epidermis intact. The damage is manifestly visible by the opaque streaks or patches left behind on the leaves. It was really agonising having to pluck and get rid of each of these marred leaves. 

The little whitish, opaque patch just below my fingers.

To save my remaining spinach from more flies depositing their eggs, I bought some fine garden mesh netting and cover my whole row of spinach. There were still some leaf miners but the damage was much less.

So, there I was, two months after the first seeds were planted, plucking the spinach leaves, most of them were still relatively small in size. However, the flowering process or what’s also commonly called, bolting, has already occurred. It’s commonly known that the spinach leaves tend to be bitter when bolting starts. I was thus greeted by a scatter of spinach flowers, 

Bolting has started: a spinach flower stalk.

I selected the bigger leaves and managed to fill up half a salad of bowl of leaves. The volume was deceptive. After my mother-in-law pan-fried the spinach with garlic and butter, the result was a side dish that was barely enough for one person! If I would like to have a proper meal with spinach, I had better to enlarge my vegetable plot!

27 May 2022. Spinach Harvest Day.
Homegrown spinach sauté with butter and garlic.

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