Perpetual Spinach: A Favorite Snack and More

Perpetual spinach, a cross between spinach and Swiss chard, is the ultimate survivor. It morphs over the course of its extended growing season, growing nearly all year long. While spinach thrives in colder weather but bolts in hot weather, perpetual spinach can thrive in both cold and hot weather.

For this reason, Eric grows successive crops of it throughout the year.

In the spring, perpetual spinach is tender and tastes more like spinach. In the summer, it develops thicker mature stems and leaves and tastes more like chard. In this stage, it becomes a favorite snack of Eric, who likes to crunch on the stems while cooking.

Perpetual spinach can survive in up to 15 degree weather. When the weather dips to below freezing, it withdraws water from its leaves into its stems, which store sugar, which prevents the stems from freezing, much like anti-freeze. The leaves freeze overnight. However, the the water from the stems return to the leaves in the morning, reviving them. This process can occur 50-60 times before it no longer works.

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