Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Garden Bounty 2009: Surprise Fruit

I'm reading this really fascinating book right now called The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession by Adam Leith Gollner for a review I'm going to write sometime in the near future.

In chapter 1, I came across an interesting piece of information: spinach is a fruit-bearing plant. Once the plant flowers, it develops a "miniscule, often prickly, fruit capsule." Well, it just so happens that I have an abundance of flowering spinach in my garden, so I decided to go and investigate.

Lo and behold, I find my spinach bearing tiny berry-like fruits a few millimeters long.


If you're thinking this might be the next culinary find, think again: these are barely edible. Even at their size, they are really fibrous and difficult to chew. They taste vaguely of spinach, and vaguely of not much else.

I picked a stalk of spinach and brought it inside because I wanted to see the seeds. With the point of my knife, I plucked off a couple of the seed capsules and split them open. The seed is barely visible, but it's there:
Well, who'd've thunk it? The garden isn't a total loss - I am learning some new things. Did you know that arugula produces some very interesting flowers? Check these out:
Interesting, eh?

9 comments:

Donna-FFW said...

Is that a new header ?? Looks really nice. Didnt know that about the spinach, interesting. I spy rosemary in your garden also:)

Helene said...

Your pictures are really nice.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I've learnt something new today! Thanks for sharing...

Cheers,

Rosa

Coleen's Recipes said...

Your new header is GREAT!

Cathy said...

Huh, I never knew that arugula flowers - very cool!!!!

Natashya said...

Huh, who knew?
The book sounds really interesting.

Bob said...

Weird, I didn't know any of that.

Reeni♥ said...

I didn't know these things, either! How strange about the spinach! The book sounds interesting.

Elra said...

Yaoooo, I never noticed that in my plant. I know that Arugula give flower if you don't keep harvest it, but fruiting spinach, that's new to me. I better check next time.

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