Image by Hadija Saidi
Image by Elly Brian

Did You Know?

Austin was once the spinach capital of the U.S.?
Truck farms loaded spinach onto trains to ship all over the nation.
Boggy Creek Farm was one of the many mono-crop spinach farms in Austin during the 1920s. Spinach was taken to be washed in Oak Springs before loading it onto the train cars.

Pictured above:

  • Spinach Farmers in the Colorado River Valley, Austin, TX

Location:

  • Butler Pitch and Putt on S. Lamar. This farm reached all the way down to the Colorado River where there was access to water for irrigation. The space to the left of the men would eventually become S. Lamar.

When: 

  • 1920s. 

Photo Details:

  • The Seaholm Power Plant Tower is seen in the distance across the Colorado River

  • Two Moon Towers can be seen faintly in the distance across the river

  • The Driskill Hotel is the large, distant building to the right of the old water tower.

  • Just in front of the old water tower are train cars, used for sending spinach all over the country, running on the Union Pacific RR (1881). This track is part of the current railway graffiti bridge that crosses over the Colorado River (Ladybird Lake) just to the east of S. Lamar Blvd.

  • Center back of the Spinach field is a house similar to the 1841 Boggy Creek Farm House. 

 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! 

Early 1900s Spinach Farm Austin-Driskill Hotel (back right), Still existing Train crosses the river at Seaholm Power Plant (center back) in distance.

 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.



Sources: Dissertation by Jonathan Thomas Lowell, UT Austin 2018
Spinach Culture

Apples.......Did You Know?

Fresh Apples

NOTE:   Boggy Creek Farm does NOT grow Apples. The wonderful crisp, sweet & delicious fall apples are source from North Texas where the weather is cool enough to grow apples. 

DID YOU KNOW?

THESE FACTS ABOUT APPLES?

We know that you are quite familiar with the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but what else do you know about the humble apple?

To help you appreciate just how incredible the fruit that has been dubbed “nature’s perfect snack,” is, we wanted to share some amazing apple facts with you.

  • Apple trees take 4-5 years to produce their first fruit. A standard size apple tree starts bearing fruit 8-10 years after it is planted. A dwarf tree starts bearing fruit in 3-5 years.

  • Apples will ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated.

  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.

  • There are more than 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, and they come in all shades of red, green and yellow.

  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.

  • Bobbing for apples? 25% of an apples volume is air, which is why they float.

  • Pilgrims planted the first U.S. apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

  • Most apple blossoms are pink when they open but gradually transform into white.

  • It takes the energy of 50 leaves to produce one apple.

  • One of George Washington’s hobbies was pruning his apple trees.

  • Most apples are still picked by hand.

  • Apples come in all sizes from just a bit bigger than a cherry to about the same size as a grapefruit.

  • The largest apple ever picked weighed in at 3 pounds 2 ounces.

  • Johnny Appleseed (real name John Chapman) was yes, a real person, and yes, he planted apple trees all over parts of the United States, and he wasn’t poor. Back then, land could be claimed if you created a permanent homestead, and one of the ways to do that was to plant 50 trees to start an orchard. Chapman planted trees, and then later would sell “his” land to people.

  • Apples contain 0 grams of fat or sodium and have no cholesterol.

  •  At 4 grams per average size apple, they are an excellent source of fiber.

  • Apples are members of the rose family.

  • Thanks to their high levels of boron, apples can help improve your memory, mental alertness, and electrical activity of the brain.

  • The average person eats 65 apples a year.

  • Most of the antioxidants found in apples, including quercetin, are located in the skin.

  • The most popular varieties of apples in the US are the Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and the Granny Smith.

  • Apple trees can live to be about 100 years old.

  • In the Chinese culture, the word for apples is pronounced as ‘ping’ which also stands for peace. This is why apples are a favorite gift to give when visiting someone in China.

  • The average apple has 10 seeds.

  • Freshly pressed apple juice immediately turns brown upon contact with air because of oxidation.

  • A nifty trick to prevent fresh apple juice from turning brown is to add a few squeezes of lemon juice or lime juice. This helps prevent oxidation.

  • Apples are one of the most popular juices taken with breakfast in the United States.

  • People who love apples are said to be outspoken, charismatic and enthusiastic.

  • The fear of apples is known as Malusdomesticaphobia. This phobia gets its name from the scientific name of apples, which is Malus domestica in the Rose family (Rosaceae).

  • A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds. A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds.

  • The top apple producers around the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland, and Italy. Apples account for 50 percent of international deciduous fruit tree production.

  • Apples are full of fiber and can help you feel full on fewer calories – which can ultimately help in weight management.  Plus, fiber fights cholesterol and lowers your heart disease risk.