Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Death of the indian spinach

The indian spinach is high yielding, but I have to admit that I'm not all that fond of it. It tastes stalk, much like some sallads do. That's why I decided to tear it down.

I tore some of it last week, that's why it has a thin 'waist'. If you look closely you can see its branches crawling all over the place with vines sneaking in behind the poster, snaring the plants on the second shelf and entangling themselvs in the chains to the growlights. When I did my first spinach tearing I accidentally pulled two plants from the upper shelf. There are still terracotta shatters spread across the library.

I'd spent half an hour cutting leaves and branches before I could relealse the net used as a trellis. Removing the vines became so much easier after this.

Here you can see the berries. Traditionally the berry juice is used as rouge, and it has indeed a nice blue-red tint. When I smeared it over the back of my hand it turned to hue close to a (normally) blushing cheek.

Since the roots are used in traditional medicin I dug them up to take a look. There are certainly not much food on them, which probably explains why they 'only' are used as medicine. Interestingly enough the roots are used against diarrhoea and the stalks and leaves are laxative. You'd better not mix those parts up...

Here are the collected stems and leaves. The stems filled an ordinary waste bag, so I tossed them into the composting bin in our communal "recycling house" (yeah, it's called that). I feel much better doing this since I got to know that the communal compost collected in Uppsala is fermented into biofuel, which powers some of the public busses (half of the fleet is powered by this gas, the other half uses ordinary diesel). My worms under the staircase will have other things to feast upon.

I parboiled the leaves and froze them. I'm not sure what to do with them. Like I said they taste like stalk, but they also give a nice asian flavour to soups and stews. I can't exactly tell what this asian flavour is, this just happen to be my associations when I use indian spinach in food. Probably I'll use these leaves in my winter meatloafs, which in their turn will be flavoured with fresh ginger, lots of garlic, sambal oelek and chinese soy.

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