I harvested my beets a few days ago. I didn’t get any pictures of them with their tops still attached, but they filled two half-bushel baskets. I planted six 8-foot rows, and my root harvest is shown below.
Cut off the tops! Eat them if you like greens.
Wash off the dirt!
Put the washed beets in a pot (or two) and boil them for about 20 minutes to make the skin really lose and easy to peel.
The skin will slip right off, along with the stem stubs.
Peeling in a messy step.
Get your recipe book and spices together!
Combine the beets with the vinegar, sugar, spices, whatever is in your canning recipe and boil them again.
Get your canning jars and lids simmering, and then fill the jars with the hot beet mixture.
Process your beets for 20 minutes (for pints) in a boiling water bath.
From six 8-foot rows of beet seeds I canned 1 gallon of beet roots.
The last time I canned beets I skimmed off the spices. This time I canned the spices into the jar. I want to see which way I like better. I keep notes in my cook books.
Giant Syrian Tomato, May 2012
Big Boy Tomato, May 2012
The tomatoes are starting to grow well for me in their new boxes. As you might be able to see I have planted each one with two basil friends to keep it company, and nature has planted several annoying wanna-be friends in there too.
The wire tomato cages are only there to steady the plant long enough for it to grow strong outdoors. I expect these tomatoes will end up 8 feet tall, up and over the roof by August.
The boards are warping a bit, so I think I’ll have to hit them with some sand paper on a nice dry day to even things up again.
This early spring probably allowed the peas to germinate much faster than normal, but they still have quite a bit of growing to reach the bottom of the trellis that I want them to grow on. Sunday and Monday will have temperatures as high as 90 F, so that ought to confuse these cold-loving plants.
I need to harvest all these peas by Mid-to-Late May so that I can reuse this space for cucumbers. For once I believe I’m actually on schedule this year.
I went out last night after dark with a flashlight into a slowly drizzling rain to see how the garden was feeling.
Broccoli, cauliflower and lettuces looking OK.
Radishes, carrots, cabbage looking OK.
But why do I keep seeing weird rapid movements out of the corner of my eye?
I shone my flashlight around to investigate and discovered that the garden beds were full of huge earthworms, hanging out 12 inches from their holes. When I spooked them, they could dash back from whence they came about 5 times faster than a human could slurp up a piece of spaghetti. My goodness they are QUICK!
Then I realized that my garden beds were now a singles bar for worms.
All is well! If the worms are happy enough to breed in my dirt, it can’t be that bad a place!