Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Digging Beets

I planted beets this year as a small experiment. I only planted about 1/4 of one raised bed's worth, but in their little corner of earth, they grew like mad.

So, while I wouldn't call this a bumper crop by anyone's definition, we ended up with more beets that I know what to do with at the moment, but not really enough to justify canning them. I think that I'm going to try root cellaring.

Our soon-to-be new old house was built in 1925, and has a HUGE dug-out basement. The basement stays fairly cool and (for better or worse) a bit damp; ideal conditions for a root cellar. Based upon my obsessive research on the subject, I've come to learn that the best way to store an uncooked beet is to trim off the greens (leave 1 inch of stem to prevent "bleeding"), and bury the beets in a crate filled with clean, slightly damp sand. Making sure that they stay cool @ 32-40 degrees, and lightly misting the sand regularly, the beets should last for at least 4-5 months.

As for the trimmed greens, what doesn't get fed immediately to the bunnies and chickens gets chopped and dried in my food dehydrator for supplemental green fodder for the critters come wintertime, when green things become scarce. The greens are actually more nutritionally dense than the roots, containing vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 & C, and even more iron than spinach.

Dwight Schrute, have I done you proud?


  1. How cool, I simply love beets and am very impressed with anyone who grows anything!

  2. I really love beets. Although living in Florida I could not imagine a bumper crop that could be stored in a cellar(anything below ground results in just hitting water).

    This is totally impressive. I love it.

  3. Such a great Idea with the root cellar. I have been reading a bit too. Forever preparing for the day, I can do the same.

    One thing you can make with the beet... juice. I use a juicer but if you have a high powered blender it should work too. However you will want to strain some of the pulp from the juice :)
    1 uncooked beet or two
    a lime and 1-4 red apples, depending on how sweet you want it. My friends children love it and especially love their red red lips after.

  4. That's a great idea, T! The girls *might* actually get over their weirdness and enjoy the beets that way. I'll give it a go! ;)

  5. My littlej loves beetroot dip. You bake and then peel the beets, then puree with youghurt and fresh mint and a little garlic. Sometimes she has this for breakfast on toast. Yum!

  6. Beet greens are also excellent for making green smoothies. ;)