Malabar spinach in the goat garden

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Faithful Heart, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    I'd been meaning to tell everyone about this great plant we "discovered". The goats LOVE it, and it's pretty tasty for people too. :) It's been the best choice we've made for our garden.

    Malabar spinach - fast growing vine, grows wonderfully on a tomato cage, can be grown in the summer, loves heat, but needs plenty of water, grow in full sun or with little shade, has seeds that can be harvested for more plants.

    Full plant:
    [​IMG]

    Close-up of seeds:
    [​IMG]

    The goats love every part of this plant - leaves, vine, and seed pods. We've eaten the leaves and seed pods. Both are tasty. Often what we've done is when we harvest some for ourselves to eat, we give the goats the vines. But they go to town on the leaves and seeds when they get those. It's such an easy plant to grow that it would makes a great addition to any garden, but it's a MUST if you have a special "goat" garden. We plan to plant a LOT of it next year. As big a garden of it as we can make space for.
     
  2. goatedintoit

    goatedintoit Truly Gems ADGA Nubians

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    Thanx for the info.. sounds like something I should try next year.
     

  3. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    FH, how will you feed it to them? Throw an armload of vines and leaves into their feeder once a day? I know spinach is "rich" and had to ration it for the geese or it gave them the runnier runs.

    It LOOKS quite yummy. My spinach went to seed already, I miss it!

    There is a kind of beet with high protein etc, mangel (sp) I think. I am planning a goat garden for next year, and you've given me another something to plant. I'm also going to do waaay more sunflowers, as the entire plant is edible. Also, my goats (and geese) love broccolli leaves. My brocolli is about spent but I am still harvesting many large leaves daily. They tolerate them fine and the poo is normal.
     
  4. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    Well they haven't gotten it daily, basiclly because we don't have that much. :) But as to HOW they get it...... I'll either treat the little doe with a few handfuls, or if we harvest a bunch for us then both the goats get the vines and much of the seeds. No runny poo from it. I try to give the doeling a handful or two daily because I would also consider it a rich/highly nutritious food - plus she loves it so much. She's been getting some on a fairly regular basis for a couple weeks I guess. It does have a large water content in the leaves (thick and moist), so I could see it causing a problem in very large quantities - most likely. Actually, the first time I ate it.... I ate quite a bit :eek: , and it did sort of purge me. :shrug:

    My husband says he waters it every other day, and if the garden was mulched it would be less. We've had hot dry conditions, so it surprizes me how well it's done. Most of the rest of the garden has suffered, yet this spinach is just florishing in this heat. We have it in a garden spot that gets more sun than I would consider good for spinach.
     
  5. christij

    christij Well-Known Member

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    What other items do you plant in your "goat garden"?
     
  6. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Never seen it here down under....but whats it proper name?? Just incase we do have it here. ;)
     
  7. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    I don't personally have a goat garden, though I'd like to start one next year. This is just in our regular garden. But I brought it up just to share because the goats love it so much. :) Next year I hope to plant for the goats, chickens, and us - malabar spinach, carrots, pumpkins, beets, several varieties of squash, cucumber, lots of sunflowers, and tomatoes.

    I came up with the names: malabar spinach, indian spinach, Lo Kui, Red Vine Spinach, Creeping Spinach, Climbing Spinach (Basella rubra), Ceylon spinach, gui, acelga trepadora, bretana, libato, vine spinach, and Malabar nightshade, Basella alba...... (sheesh :rolleyes: ) and many more! Apparently it's very common in tropical Africa and southeast Asia. Here's some quick info about it: Malabar Spinach

    I actually came across this: Nutrient Value of Malabar Spinach