Posts Tagged ‘beets

21
Jun
10

How does your garden grow?

Welcome to Vampire Gran's Garden!

On March 30th of this year I started planting a raised bed garden.  It’s difficult to believe that tomorrow is the official first day of summer, June 21st.  Here in the Pacific Northwest we have had days and weeks of unending rain and very sporadic bursts of sunshine.  And somehow my garden seems to be thriving.  We’ve already harvested and consumed all of the lettuce that was planted at the end of March.  It was my first attempt at growing lettuce and it was a success.  Not one head was lost.  Probably because I identify with the Evil Queen from Snow White and not the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland!

Harvesting my very first beet

Wow, look at those beautiful beet greens!  Life is truly wonderful when a simple thing like pulling a fresh beet from the earth can bring a smile that I could feel through my whole body.

I look like a proud parent

Growing our own food is so awesome.  Everyone should do it, no matter where you live.  The cool thing about beets is that you can eat the whole plant, not just the root.  I’m steaming these greens tomorrow for dinner.  The root is going into our fresh veggie juice  this afternoon.  It’s gonna be delicious.

Five raised beds all in row

The bed in the foreground used to hold large heads of lettuce, but we’ve already enjoyed those.  There’s a jalapeno and a butternut squash starting there now.  You can see basil, dill, chives, Italian parsley, orange thyme and summer savory closer to where I am standing.

View from behind the garage

I’m standing in front of the shelling peas.  Those things really grew fast!  Leeks and onions are in that bed as well.  To the right are the beets and broccoli.  To the left you can see tomato plants.

Checking out the peas

It was just last weekend that the pea pods appeared.  They are so sweet and tender.  We like to pick and eat them right there on the spot.   What a treat!

Just beautiful!

Such a beautiful shade of green

OK, one more shot - jeez, who knew peas could be such hams!

Not to be upstaged by the peas, the beet greens make another appearance

Seriously, look how gorgeous those greens are.  When I was a kid, people used to tell me I would make a good farmer’s wife because I used to get up before the sun was up.  Who knew I was the one who would end up being the farmer.

Thanks for coming to check on our garden's progress

Well, now I’m heading to the garage to ditch my gloves and gardening garb.  Then off to the kitchen to rinse my beloved beet and enjoy it our afternoon juice.  Cheers!

20
May
10

Daylight in the Garden of Good and Tasty

I am so glad I planted early this year!

A couple of months ago, March 30th,  to be exact, I wrote a post about planting our garden.  I likened myself to Martha Stewart, sort of, well, in the fact that we both have gardens on our estates.  I sure wish I had a couple of henchmen though, like Martha, who could help with all of the details of said garden.  Oh, I guess they are called gardeners, not henchmen.  Drat!  I really want a henchman.

Anyway, this short post is an update complete with a few photos of how the garden is progressing.  The top shot is of a Golden Beet plant.  We’re pretty stoked about growing our own beets.  I think I’d like to show some before and current views of the raised beds.  Here goes:

Day one - Lettuce

When I first planted the lettuce, some kinda bug thought it was Hometown Buffet or something.  Small bug teeth sized holes started to appear in the leaves almost immediately.  Katie was concerned as was our friend Emily.  I’m the kind of gardener who plants things and just expects them to grow.  I believed that if I was meant to grow lettuce, it would grow.  My inner being never lets me down.  Here is what the lettuce looked like this morning and, mind you, I added nothing to the soil nor did I put anything on the leaves.  100% natural and organic, baby.

Can you believe it?

Here’s a nice close up shot:

Pretty!

So, let’s take a look at the beets progress.  We are really looking forward to not only eating the beet roots, but also the tasty greens.  This is the ultimate no waste vegetable.

Day one - Beets

The plant front and center in this shot is the same Golden Beet whose picture graced the beginning of this report.  Not bad, eh?  Here’s a shot of the whole group.

Growing like, dare I say it, weeds?

The plants in the background are broccoli.  You may be noticing the yellowing outer leaves here.  I’m leaving  those leaves on, even though the pictures would look better if I manicured the plants a bit.  But I’m thinkin’ maybe if the moocher bugs return, they can gnaw on the crappy leaves a bit, get pissed off and move on.  Ours is not the only garden on the block, ya’ know?

Some new additions

If you recall, the chives, on the right, were the only thing that survived the winter.  Since March, I’ve planted parsley and some Orange Thyme, back in the corner.  I still need to buy some basil and I would also like cilantro.

Yeah, I know I need to weed, but it's been raining cats and dogs here in Portland!

These are shelling peas and in the background you can see leeks.  In the past I have only ever grown tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and a few herbs.  This is really fun growing our food.  Speaking of tomatoes, I need to get some planted soon.  I mentioned in my other gardening post that our next door neighbor is a Master Gardener.  She generously shared three tomato plants and a green bell pepper with us.  She has the coolest little greenhouse and always something growing in there.  No, I haven’t noticed any bright lights coming from there at odd hours.   Man, you guys!

Thanks to Miss Snowy, we will have tomatoes

Okay, well that’s my update for now.  Oh, there’s a break in the rain.  I’m outta here.  I have some weeds to pull!

10
Mar
10

Just Beet it!

Beautiful jewels of the earth

I love beets.  They are so beautiful.  Sweet and earthy, and when they are dressed, they shimmer like fine jewels under showroom lights.  According to Harold McGee’s book ” On Food and Cooking”  beets have been eaten by man since prehistory.  They are native to a vast region of Eurasia from Britain to India.  In the 18th century, a white beet variety began to be cultivated for sugar production.  I always wondered why beet sugar wasn’t pink.  Did you know that up to 8% of the beet’s weight is sugar?  That is an exceptional figure for a vegetable.

Another interesting fact about beets and us humans is the ability to metabolize the bright red pigment, called betacyanin, is controlled by a single genetic locus.  People who have inherited two recessive genes pass the pigment in their urine.  In other words, after consuming red beets, those fortunate bastards get to pee pink!!!  Lucky.

So, where are we going with all this?  Well, I just wanted to write about how easy it is to make a simple, light dinner using one of my favorite root vegetables.

Scrub the beets, trim off the ends, you can peel before or after.  I like to peel after they are cooked because the peel slides right off with a small, sharp knife.  I add fresh rosemary sprigs just because I have it growing in my yard but you don’t have to, and wrap it all up in heavy foil.  Set your oven to 350 degrees, place the wrapped beets on a baking tray just in case that foil gets a little whole in it.  You don’t want beet juice mucking up your oven, trust me.  Roast for about an hour or until tender when pierced with a knife.  I like to just stab it through the foil; it’s easier than opening the foil and risking a steam burn.

All dressed up and ready to go

Once your beets are roasted and peeled, cut them up into bite size pieces and place them in a bowl.  Whisk together some olive oil, a little orange juice, salt and pepper and toss in the beets.  Once they are nice and evenly coated you are ready to eat.

 

The night we ate these beets I paired them with a bit of  herb rolled goat cheese and some basmati rice cooked in vegetable broth and spiked with Tamari and nutritional yeast.  Yeah, it was that good.




Foodbuzz

Foodbuzz
Quantcast

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 102 other followers