The Perpetual spinach, or more formally known as the Spinach Lily, is a legendary breed. Wild species found only in Australia, this plant is also known as the Queen Anne's Lace. In common with many wild plants, its botanical name was incorrectly given and should actually be called the Sparganium Officinale. It is often compared with cabbage and lettuce as a vegetable with almost similar uses, and the two share many similarities including their common application in recipes.
Commercial Production: The Perpetual Spinach Seeds are used primarily to produce a green colored vegetable which is similar in growth habit to spinach. The leaves can be harvested frequently to maintain a dense and healthy production of green leaves, allowing the farmer to harvest more often. Sow seeds in warm weather climates and allow them to sprout to full maturity in less than two years. Seeds are dried to preserve and store for later use. Once fully mature, the plants are ready for planting.
Cooking: Much like any other member of the spinach family, the Perpetual Spinach seeds are used both as a vegetable and as a tasty green salad. The leaves and stems are boiled in water for a few minutes, being separated from the greens by a wire strainer. They can then be used in the same way as other green vegetables with milder flavors, such as a baked potato or French dip. Many recipes call for baked potatoes that have been prepared with the leaves and stems.
Other Uses: When making a vegetable dish where spinach is the main ingredient, the Perpetual Spinach seeds can be added at the end of the cooking process to help retain the flavor. It can also be sprinkled on top of baked potatoes or carrots during the preparation process, or even allowed to remain on the surface until the food is served. The leaves and stems make excellent accompaniments to cheeses or crackers, especially those that have a mild flavor. Fresh juice can be extracted from the leaves and stems, or can be used in place of water in fruit juices. For a delicious cold beverage, a mixture of fresh leaves and stems with some water can be enjoyed.
Cooking: Many people enjoy the distinctive flavor of this leafy green. Used as a garnish in a variety of dishes, the Perpetual Spinach seeds are best when they are not fully mature. When they are, they should be harvested immediately and stored away until the next day. The delicate flavor of the leaves and stems will only enhance the flavor of the dish and help to enhance the colors in the final dish.
Using the seeds to flavor soups, stews, and casseroles is an excellent idea. While the young leaves and stems can be added at the end of the cooking process, the older leaves and stems are best added right at the beginning. If you are using the seeds for creating stock, a method should be used to extract them that has a very minimal amount of alcohol in it. This should be avoided if possible, as any excess alcohol can burn the flavor of the green leaves.
In order to successfully sow perpetual spinach leaves and stems, you must be aware of the growing conditions needed to make sure that they get the proper growing environment. Depending upon the area that you live in, there are some specific requirements that you will need to meet before you can start harvesting seeds. For instance, if the area is constantly cold, then you will want to avoid areas that are located near bodies of water. As the seasons pass, you will also want to move the plants to warmer climates.
When you have successfully sown perpetual spinach, it will take approximately six weeks for the new shoots to appear. The young leaves and stems will begin to appear about two weeks after the last set of leaves have appeared. The shorter, green, older leaves will continue to grow until the seeds are fully developed. Once the plants start to develop, they will produce new shoots every two weeks. As the plants get older, they will produce even more leaves. The plant will stop producing seeds after the first set of leaves has grown to about a foot high.