22.2.07

And I love me spinach (water)



Pork, kangkong, rice.

"Water spinach or kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica), also known as kangkong, water glorybind, water spinach, water convolvulus, and swamp cabbage, is an important green leaf vegetable in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Ceylon, and Malaysia.

Known to have originated in India but is now widely grown throughout the tropics. Water spinach can become an undesirable weed.

There are two major forms (cultivars) that are cultivated in two ways, either upland (dry) or swamp (wet).

Ching Quat, an upland variety, has narrow leaves, while Pak Quat, a swamp variety, has arrowhead-shaped leaves. The plants produce a trailing hollow vine that is adapted to floating in aquatic environments. The leaves are light green and look somewhat like sweet potato leaves.

The upland types are started from seed or cuttings and are grown on trellises. Plants are often grown in nursery beds for transplanting later to the garden. Taking cuttings from plants in the nursery beds is the usual method. Harvest may start six weeks after planting.

The swamp types are usually planted with twelve-inch-long cuttings planted in mud and kept moist. As the vines grow, the area is flooded to a depth of six inches, and a continuous flow of water is maintained through the field, similar to the way watercress is grown.

Harvest begins four weeks after planting. When the succulent tips of the vines are removed, lateral and upright branches are encouraged. These branches are harvested every seven to ten days. All parts of the young plants are eaten. The crop is fragile and requires rapid and careful handling to minimize damage and wilting. It is eaten like cooked spinach. A canned product is often available in ethnic markets."

Cheers!
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