Strangest Valentine's Day Gift, Ever? Spinach.

Modern Farmer has a fantastic piece on what to grow each season, to keep you grazing on your garden greens all year round.  Bonus: the image kind of looks like a quilt (inspiration, modern quilters?). If you’re a neighbor here in Southern California, you don’t have to worry too much about freezes this fall, but if you live in an area with frosty nights and mornings, you can still grow your spinach, lettuce, and mustard well into October, as long as you protect your greens from the freezing temps and bites of frost.  Check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac for tips to grow and harvest your fall spinach.

I adore spinach. In honor of this, my boyfriend actually gave me a the gift of a microwave for Valentine’s day. Some might think this less than romantic, and at first, I was baffled, seeing it unwrapped in the back of his car. Umm… “thanks for the radiation?” But when he opened it to reveal the bunches of spinach that I eat daily, and the ease with which to blanche/nuke it, I fell in love.  The boyfriend’s not so bad, either.

I use spinach as a bed for my soft-boiled eggs, a leafy addition to my corn tortilla wraps, my sandwiches, my pasta, my (fill in the blank___). I have a healthy obsession, I admit it. Are you a spinach-a-holic?  Or not quite convinced by Popeye’s muscles? WebMD, that hypochondriac’s dream of a Website, confirms it: you’ll be strong to the finish if you eat your spinach. “The leafy green also helped [Popeye] fight off osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, and several types of cancer. Plus it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants — ranking third behind garlic and kale.”

How do you eat your spinach? Ina Garten has the guide to garlic sautéed spinach here. And while we transition into fall, I plan to sub out the strawberries of my favorite summer salad with Fuji apples, adding a crisp bit to fresh spinach, goat cheese, and walnuts. TreeHugger.com highlights 30 ways to add spinach to your meal, including dessert!  What’s your favorite spinach recipe? Do you grow your own? Share with us in the comment section or on Twitter: @RebeccaSnavely & TheCityFarm!

(Photo: BarefeetInTheKitchen.com; Bon Appétit; hitchfit.com)

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