Saturday, November 04, 2006

If it's good enough for Popeye...

M bought two bags crammed full of fresh spinach from our local greengrocers on Green Lanes tonight and he's going to cook it into a spicy stew of chorizo and chickpeas. The aroma coming out of the kitchen right now is heavenly.

I grew up eating spinach like this, grown fresh and organic in my father's garden in Kent. He used to have horse manure delivered to the house from the local farm and he spread it lavishly and lovingly between the rows of onions, potatoes, spinach, beetroot, pumpkins, tomatoes and other vegetables in our large back garden. Many of my childhood photos have me posing in the midst of craggy mountains of potatoes, with pumpkins bigger than my head, or holding aloft bunches of carrots or onions, a huge grin on my face each time, as if it was I who'd laboured hard for such bounty. My parents live in a different house now and though their garden is large, most of it is covered with patio stones and terracotta pots. The little grass and soil they have gets little sun or are covered with roses. But still they grow tomatoes, aubergines, and one year even red chillis in pots when they can.

One of the first things I will grow when I have my own garden will be spinach. It's my favourite vegetable - one of my favourite foods in fact - and if I had the choice I would grow it instead of a lawn.

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