Q: I am growing Malabar spinach for the first time this year. It’s very vigorous and beautiful except I’ve gotten a spot fungus on the leaves. Can we eat those leaves or should I just pick them off and discard them?
A: Malabar spinach, ^Basella rubra^ ,is an excellent summer substitute for regular spinach. It is not kin to the cool season crop but tastes remarkably similar. Malabar spinach grows as a vigorous vine and does very well in a large container. It’s very ornamental, with deep green leaves and red stems. As you’ve found, the leaves get fungal spots occasionally. Simply cut them out and prepare the leaves as you normally would.