Did You Know?
Austin, Texas- Early 1900s Spinach Farm on the Colorado River (aka Town Lake & Lady Bird Lake). Notice the Seaholm Power Plant (back center) across the river and the old, still existing Train/RR Track that crosses the river there. To the right is The Driskill Hotel, as the tallest building then. *** Even the family farming at Boggy Creek Farm was growing lots of Spinach in the early 1900s!! In the 1990s Carol Ann appropriately described the spinach she was growing at Boggy Creek Farm as Succulent Spinach. You just can't beat it!
Moon Towers (very faint in the distance)
South Lamar Train / Union Pacific RR 1881
Power Plant Tower on the Colorado River
Did you know that Austin was once the Spinach Capital of the United States?
In the very early 1900s the Colorado River Valley's nutrient-rich soil was used by Austin farmers. Many became spinach growers when science proved its health benefit over lettuce. and its popularity began to soar. Spinach was hand-picked and loaded onto trains as seen in the photo and shipped to places such as St. Louis, New York, Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis.
While it was once the largest growing and shipping region in Texas, it was quickly displaced by what became known as the “Winter Garden Triangle.” Del Rio, Laredo, and San Antonio formed the points of the triangle, with counties such as Uvalde and Dimmit being central (Dainello & Morelock, 2009).
The Winter Garden Triangle had more cheap land and labor, not to mention weather that was less prone to freezes, and once they had the ability to get the infrastructure in place to produce and ship spinach to distant markets, they quickly displaced the Austin area. Crystal City has been know as the Spinach Capital and home of Popeye the Sailor Man since the mid 1920s.