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Posts Tagged ‘beets’

A Still-Life of Hidden Treasures

Beets did okay this year, especially given my lack of proper care for them.  I harvested a lot of them early in the summer, and left a lot of little weedy looking ones for later.  It didn’t look like those remainders were doing much, since the beet greens never got very big or lush.  I gave up on them and decided to re-seed for fall.  And yet, when I went to clear out the bed, there were a lot of fat little red and yellow baby beets underneath the surface.  I took them home, boiled them enough to get the skins off, and then ate them with a hillock of goat cheese.

The golden beets continue to be my favorite.  The flavor is really superior.  I think next year I’ll only plant the goldens.

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I had a nice little harvest last weekend.  More salad greens, some garlic (which will need to cure for a while), plenty of herbs, and two baby beets.  This year I planted a variety called Cylindra, which is a long skinny red beet.  I figured that would be a good space-saver.  (I also planted golden beets, but they’re not ready yet).  I’ve been making a salad recently using my home-grown greens topped with bacon and Humboldt Fog aged goat cheese.  I figured some hearty chunks of quickly boiled beets would be a great addition.

I top this salad with a vinaigrette made with aged cherry-infused balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.  It’s heaven.

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Round-the-Calendar Salad

I’ve got lots of salad greens coming out of my garden now.  In fact, last week’s heat made the arugula bolt, although I think I was able to pinch enough off to keep some plants going.  But the rest of the lettuce is doing fine, so I’m enjoying some nice salads these days.

Just to have a poetic celebration of the changing of the seasons, I paired the fresh salad greens of spring with pickled beets from last fall.  Add in some chive blossoms, goat cheese, and orange champagne vinegar, plus a radish ‘n’ butter sandwich on the side, and it’s a light meal for all seasons.

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I sowed my fall beets and carrots at the beginning of September.  I knew I really should have planted them earlier, but August was so hot and gross, and it seemed like so much work to clear away all the detritus of my summer garden.  And since it felt like it would be hot forever, I figured there would be plenty of time for my September seeds to grow and fatten up.

Alas, I don’t think I’m going to get much of a crop.  I’ve been thinning the carrots, and they’re still extremely tiny.  The beets are even sadder.  Sure, the leaves are growing, and they’re doing okay in the cold, but I don’t think the roots will fatten up before the regular frost sets in.

Ah well.  Next year I’ll prod myself into clearing out the summer stuff earlier and getting those seeds in by early August.  Live and learn.

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There certainly have been a dreary stretches this fall in DC.  They may have turned off the water at my community garden, but my fall vegetables are not wanting for rain.  Still, we’ve also enjoyed some really beautiful stretches.  It’s going to get up into the upper 60s and low 70s for the next few days.  When the air is warm, but not too warm, and there are crisp and colorful leaves on the ground, it just feels good to be alive.

Misc Fall Leaves (Large)

Don't worry, the leaf porn will be over soon.

Misc Busboys and Poets (Large)

Outdoor dining in November. I love DC.

Misc Beets (Large)

New fall beets at the market.

Misc Baby Kale (Large)

The sun is helping my fall kale grow big - and then a good frost will help it get sweet.

Misc Asian Vegetables (Large)

A lot of Asian vegetables do very well in the fall. Look at the size of those Daikons!

Misc Ginko Leaves (Large)

Fallen ginkgo nuts are smelly and gross, but fallen ginkgo leaves are lovely.

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My fall garden is doing very well, and now I’m once again dealing with an excess of greens.  And some of the stars of summer are producing into the fall.  I’m still getting jalapeños and other peppers, plus a few tomatoes here and there (Romas and Dr. Carolyns).  And the Swiss Chard is as productive as ever.  But the fun stuff is all the tender, new plants I sowed in early September.

This bed is mostly arugula, with a little lettuce and basil and dill here and there.

This bed is mostly arugula, with a little lettuce and basil and dill here and there.

In the foreground, there's lettuce I planted from starts.  The middle section is carrots and the back section is beets, both of which have a way to go to reach maturity.

In the foreground, there's lettuce I planted from starts. The middle section is carrots and the back section is beets, both of which have a way to go to reach maturity.

In one bed I scattered many assorted lettuces and mesclun mixes.  Now they're perfect for a tender salad.

In one bed I scattered many assorted lettuces and mesclun mixes. Now they're perfect for a tender salad.

The chard is still robust.  I always have too much.

The chard is still robust. I always have too much.

The Mexican Sour Gherkin vines are also still incredibly productive.

The Mexican Sour Gherkin vines are also still incredibly productive.

Me in my garden plot!

Me in my garden plot!

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