The Nutrition of Spinach & Garden Gossip

Spinach is something we have been eating a lot of lately, and I wanted to add it to our list of nutritional content articles.
 

1 cup of raw spinach contains the following nutritional content.

  • calories 6.9
  • carbohydrates 1.1 g
  • protein 0.9 g
  • Vitamin A   2813 IU 

  • Vitamin C   8.4 mg
  • Vitamin K  145 mcg
  • Folate   58.2 mcg
  • Choline   5.4 mcg
  • Betaine   165 mcg
  • Calcium   29.7 mg
  • Magnesium   23.7 mg
  • Phosphorus   14.7 mg
  • Potassium    167 mg
  • Sodium    23.7 mg
  • Omega-3 fatty acids    41.4 mg
  • Omega-6 fatty acids    7.8 mg

 
As you can see, spinach packs a good amount of nutrition into one cup. When we start getting more sunshine and less rain, I expect our little seedlings will finally grow into the normal, large plants I have been hoping to see for about a month now.

I have planted some more seeds in the last week. Some of them will go in the herb bed, but some will hopefully go in our salads. The new tubs of seeds include spinach, lettuce, baby greens, celeriac, parsley (which we have been eating in salads and the goats have been eating once a week to help expel worms), boneset, feverfew, moonflowers, psyllium, sweet woodruff, cayenne peppers, arnica, borage and fennel. We are also going to have to replant our pinto beans, which we will use for green beans and pintos, because there has only been one come up. And some day, if it ever quits raining four or five days a week, I can do some serious weeding and finish planting the last few rows of the new part of the garden.

This patch of turnips is sharing way too much space with the grass and weeds.


It is interesting how our tastes and interests change over time. We have always grown corn and potatoes in the past, now we are turning toward plants with more concentrated nutrients, like beans, cowpeas and greens. We do have about a dozen volunteer potatoes coming up from last year, which we are letting grow. It will be interesting to see how they produce. Learn all you can about producing your own food, then put it into practice. We have been gardening in this spot for six years now and no two years have been the same. The weather has been different, the insect pests have been different, and the harvest has been different. There is always much to learn. 

For example, the past two years the slug population has really taken off. Yesterday, I placed some scrap 2 x 4’s around in the garden to encourage the slugs to gather under them so I could ‘harvest’ them in the mornings. There were a few under the boards, but you could see dozens of them just sliming around on the ground. Once the plants are grown, they will still be there, I just won’t be able to see them. So, I have decided to treat them like the pest they are and try to ‘harvest’ as many as I can each morning and put them in the chicken bucket. This will hopefully help deter their population in the garden, and feed the chickens at the same time. I probably picked close to 100 slugs this morning alone. Yuck! There were several fat, happy ones that were making quick work of the new squash plants that are just poking their heads out of the ground. I didn’t take their picture.

Taking pictures of the garden from the porch while it rains.

Like everyone else, I can’t wait for the harvest to begin in earnest. We put very little food up last year due to surgeries and illness, and we hope to more than make up for that this summer. In the meantime, we are also working on a few major projects involving the house. Wait, a news flash. Frank just told me that after Tuesday, there is no rain forecast for Wednesday, Thursday or Friday! Yahoo! Everyone around here is more than ready for the puddles and mud to dry up at least a bit, and be blessed with the touch of the sun. 

Until next time – Fern

10 thoughts on “The Nutrition of Spinach & Garden Gossip

  1. Great information about Soapwort, Sassafras. I have some planted in our herb bed and will be including it in the next herb bed review. I also have some soapwort seeds I'm going to try to start to expand the small plot I have started. I think of it as my alternate soap source. We've been getting rain three to five days a week for about two months. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, and there should be more coming now that we finally have a high pressure system in place for a few days. The garden is very wet. About the only thing I can do out there is pull a few weeds here and there and continue the slug war. Thank you very much for sharing this information.Fern

  2. Found this online while looking about planting some old Soapwort (Cowcockle/Bouncing Bet) seeds that surfaced. Is it just me or do the seed packets take over the house and sometimes slip into the magazine/catalog pile??? Your blog post came to mind…The writer (on ebay) did not list a source for this info… \”Back in 1999 a trial of 25 native plant species carried out at the University Botanic Garden in Cambridge ranked soapwort was the second most popular nectar source for butterfly species, with a very high nectar secretion rate and second only to purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria in the number of butterfly species that it attracted. Not only that – it's also virtually slug-proof. Recently researchers in Poland have shown that slugs avoid eating soapwort. Soapwort's slug-deterrent properties are due to the saponin compounds in its rhizomes and leaves. Saponins are natural detergents, found in many plants including horse chestnut seed ('conkers'). A few years ago some Austrian research showed that slugs will not cross a barrier of ground-up conker seed meal and theoretically sprayed saponin extracts have the potential to protect seedlings that are susceptible to slug damage, but for the fact that saponins are very soluble and wash away in the rain.\”Also of interest in the article it stated: \”A decoction of the soapwort plant can be applied externally to treat itchy skin, eczema, psoriasis, acne and boils.\” Hope this info is helpful to someone! Have a good day Frank and Fern. It rained in my portion of Oklahoma last night. You'ns (that's Okie for ya'll) get any?? I'm good with it, excepting this one new plot of garden I'm trying to work up keeps getting doused before I can get my rows worked up and seed in! 🙂 ~Sassafras

  3. Hi, SJ, it's good to hear of your gardening adventures. I never get my garlic planted in the fall like I should, but I do have two stands of old fashioned, homestead garlic. It has the broad flat leaves instead of the rounded ones that are more like onions. And it's very hardy. I'm going to try harvesting, mincing and canning some of it this year, so I can use it instead of dried in my cooking. That would be nice. You're exactly right. Yea for gardening! Thanks for sharing.Fern

  4. Mud, mud everywhere! Right, Kymber? The more slugs I pick, the more I dislike them. I think I will try sprinkling rock salt in the strawberry bed. The berries are already growing very well and I just don't want to share them with the slugs. We'll see how the boards, picking, eggshells, coffee grounds and salt do. I just hope we get most of the berries this year! The weather is gorgeous today. We both got a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun and it felt wonderful. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  5. I've read something about that, Bellen. Once our lettuce, greens and spinach are up, we will be mixing many other things in with the spinach. If it's not pouring down rain, I usually go out and pick some of the small lettuces, sorrel, lemon balm, dandelion greens, swiss chard and multiplier onions to add to our salads. It adds a plethora of flavors and makes the meal more enjoyable. Thank you for reminding me of this information, Bellen.Fern

  6. The sun is shining and it is 84*, CQ! I replanted green beans today since the old pintos we planted didn't come up. It's still pretty wet, but I didn't disturb the ground very much, because it would have killed all the little carrots that are coming up on either side of the green bean trellis. I hope this sunshine moves your way! Thanks for sharing.Fern

  7. Great post, as always. I, too, have tried the beer 'pool' for the slugs. Another thing I did was buy a 50# sack of cow bran from the feed store. On non-rainy days I would put a small line of the bran around the perimeter of my young plants. It worked as well as slug bait but without the chemicals. The slugs won't cross it. I have also read about lining the perimeter of raised beds with copper. Copper is supposed to create a charge when the slugs try to cross. I haven't found a good source of copper pipe, yet, but if I do I might try this. Love seeing your garden photos. I, too, have been batting rainy days but have managed to plant asparagus crowns, rhubarb, raspberries, onion, purple sprouting broccoli, spinach and lettuce. My strawberries are beginning to flower and my garlic that overwintered is growing nicely. Yea for gardening! Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

  8. Fern – i really enjoy your \”nutrition\” posts! and i hear you about itching to get out in the garden! we haven't had too much rain this spring, but the melting snow has turned the whole garden into a muddy, muddy yard! and i agree that no two years are ever the same and it takes a lot of patience and learning to figure out how to use your garden to it's fullest potential. last year we had a ton of slugs too….we tried the beer in a cup thing but i just couldn't stand to see all of the slugs in the cup drowned every day. i have also read that if you put salty sand around your plants that it will keep the slugs away. and of course, putting cut cans around your plants ensures that if a slug climbs up, it will cut itself. i've never tried that as it would be worse to see than slugs drowning in beer. i think your idea of trying to get them to gather in one area and then collecting them and feeding them to the chickens is best. this year i am going to try putting plastic all around our beds as apparently the slugs can't climb it.anyway, it sounds like you guys are enjoying your spring and getting lots done! it sure feels good eh?your friend,kymber

  9. Just read a post on Yahoo about foods more nutritious when cooked and spinach was among them. Seems it has oxalate that inhibits the iron absorption. Something to think about.

  10. We too have been getting rain it seems non stop! With so much to do outside we are chomping at the bit for some sunshine to complete some of our projects.We actually just had a frost 2 nights ago.

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