The beet seed, sometimes referred to as a fruit, contains 2 to 6 kernels that plants will grow from. Most people thin their beets which is necessary in order to get the big 3-4 inch roots, but I just plant and then harvest the beets when they are 1 inch across. They are extremely sweet and tender at this stage. As I harvest the small beets it allows room for the other beets to obtain growth and size. By late summer I have thinned out the patch sufficiently to allow the remaining beets to mature.
BEETS will be at my booth this week in Ancestor Square.
To harvest, collect the beets, but do not wash. Cut the tops back to 1 inch. Have boxes of moist sand ready to bury the beets in leaving space between them. Put in a root cellar or cold basement. Keep sand moist. ( I use old dresser drawers, line with plastic sheeting, put in sand --first--- then alternate beets and sand. Completely cover the beets and then loosely draw the plastic over the beets, you want a little air flow)
Bury a galvanized trash can to the rim, alternate layers of moist sand and beets. Put on lid, cover with an old carpet and straw. If your winters are severe pile dirt on top of the straw and cover with plastic.------note drill a few holes in the top and bottom to allow for air circulation-----I haven't tried this one
This is by far the easiest, but not if you have a problem with gophers. A gopher will be fat and sassy by spring because he feasted on beets all winter. Just leave them in the ground. Cover with bales of straw and dig as needed. You can do this with carrots also.
If you have any suggestions about storing beets, leave a comment telling us your methods.
Don't forget to harvest the tops all summer long, they will keep growing new leaves until a killing frost.
RAW BEET AND CARROT SALAD
2 cups coarsely shredded raw beets
2 cups shredded raw carrots
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. chopped chives
Mix together and serve over a bed of lettuce.
SWEET & SOUR BEET SALAD
Boil beets and slip skins--shred--
3 cups shredded cooked beets
1 tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
In a sauce pan simmer til it boils:
2 tbs. vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Pour over beets and chill. Serve in a small bowl with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chive flowers.
Put ingredients in a sauce pan and boil for 5 minutes.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tbs. oil
Add 6-8 med cooked, peeled and sliced beets
Simmer on low for 20 minutes
PICKLED BEETS AND EGGS
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1&1/2 tsp. celery seed
1-3inch broken up cinnamon stick
tye spices in cheese-cloth and add to
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
Boil spices and ingredients together for 5 minutes. Remove spice bag.
In a 2 quart canning jar place 10 small beets, cooked and peeled, and 5 peeled boiled eggs. Pour hot liquid over top. Make sure beets and eggs are completely covered. Let cool and keep refrigerated. Use within 2 weeks.