Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beets, Radishes, and Their Greens

I'm two weeks behind again with the garden photos, but anyway. We pulled up our beets and turnips because it was time, and because they didn't seem to be growing anymore. The harvest was a little disappointing.

I'd expected larger produce based on how healthy the leaves had looked above ground. But even though we amend the soil with compost and peat moss and coffee grounds, the community garden soil is still not great. So we got small, not-very-round beets; some of the turnips fared better, but many of them were small as well.

You see, rather than haul in tons of really nice garden soil right off the bat (and spend lost of money doing it), we're hoping our yearly tilling and composting are gradually improving the soil of our plot while we deal with a so-so harvest the first few seasons.  (In the past, okra, squash, and beans have done pretty well—it's these other veggies that aren't as forgiving.)

After pulling up the beets and turnips, we prepared them for refrigerator storage. Chop off the tops, separating the greens from the roots and composting any shriveled leaves. The roots will keep for awhile in the fridge (it's been two weeks now and I'll be using them soon).

The greens get triple-washed and then dried in the salad spinner (gotta store 'em dry or they'll get slimy faster). They would start to wilt in a few days, so we started cooking them up to use like spinach with almost every meal—in tacos, in omelets, in a veggie lasagna, and on a great garden pizza that I'll post next.

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