They are supposed to endow you with health and strength. But in reality, most of the spinach we get – be it from pushcart vendors or the sleek green grocers – have been grown in wastewaters, most commonly sewage waters (yuck!).
But help is at hand, you can grow all the spinach you need at home, and you don’t need much space either, if you opt for the shelf garden method. Here is how you can do it. Organic gardener S. Indrakumar shows a way.
Get ready a three-rack shelf, about three feet long and a foot across (or bigger if the space permits). You can fashion it from waste wood. Or simply stack bricks to provide support and place wooden planks atop . Keep this shelf in your balcony or terrace where they can get doused with sunlight.
Greens don’t require much soil depth, so you can use simple six inches-high trays as planter pots. The soil mixture should be in the proportion of one part sand, two parts garden soil and one part compost or manure. Sprinkle water everyday.
Vendayam (Fenugreek), Arai Keerai (Amaranthus Tritis), Manathakkali (Solanum nigrum), and iron rich Palak are some of the greens you can grow this way.
Vendayam seeds are, of course, available in any kitchen.
Just sprinkle a handful of Vendayam into the soil and rake the soil. Manathakkali seeds are available in most provision stores. Seeds of other spinach varieties like Arai Keerai can be obtained from nurseries.
Sow about 20 seeds in each planter pot. Sprinkle manure over the soil once a month.
Uproot the Vendayam sprouts on the fifth day. Even the roots of the Vendayam plant are edible at this stage. You can now sow more Vendayam seeds for your next week’s supply of Vendaya Keerai. Arai Keerai plants can live for about six months, while Palak lasts about a year. Just pluck the required number of leaves you need from these plants.