Spinach is a cool weather, hardy crop that is commonly used in salads, soups, pasta dishes, and so much more. The ideal temperature for the plant is 55°F to 60°F and the plant can withstand temperatures as low as 15°F to 20°F. Spinach is a very nutritious food that is a good source of vitamin K, C, A, E, and B-6. Cooked spinach has lower levels folate and vitamin C content; however, has a higher level of Vitamin A and iron content than raw spinach. Here are 15 more interesting agriculture facts about spinach:  

  1. Spinach is native to Persia and was introduced to China in the 7th It was brought to the United States around 1806.
  2. During medieval times, the green pigment extracted from spinach was used as ink for artwork.
  3. The top producer of the crop in the U.S. is California.
  4. The second, third, and fourth top producers of spinach are Arizona, New Jersey, and Texas.
  5. The crop comes in three different varieties: savoy, semi savoy, and flat leaf.
  6. The crop can be planted in spring, fall, and even winter in some areas.
  7. In the spring, planting can start as soon as the soil can be properly worked.
  8. During the spring, planting should be done every two weeks.
  9. Because the crop does better in cooler temperatures, common spinach cannot grow in midsummer.
  10. Sandy soils are preferred when planting the crop because it drains early and warms quicker.
  11. When the crop reaches the desired size, it is time to harvest. If you wait too long to harvest spinach, it will break or begin to yellow.
  12. Before selling, the crop is washed and cut and typically has a storage life of 10 to 14 days.
  13. In 2016, around 47,500 acres of spinach was harvested in the United States.
  14. 57 million pounds of fresh spinach was marketed, and 78,450 tons were canned and frozen in 2016.
  15. By the 8th day after harvesting it, the crop loses half of its major nutrients.

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Written by: Amber DiCarlo, Marketing Intern

Sources:
Farmflavor.com
Ag.umass.edu
Almanac.com
Agmrc.org
Mobile-cuisine.com

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