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A Beet, is a Beet, is Not a Beet

July 25th, 2016

I’ve grown a wide variety of beets in the past, for the most part they all taste very similar. They vary in color, but the earthiness in their flavor is fairly consistent. After trying a wide variety of beets, I usually grow ‘Red Ace. This year, I decided to try ‘Crosby’s Egyptian’ beet (sources from Baker Creek). Germination was spotty, which was pretty common with the drought this year. The beets that did germinate, grew quickly and sized up before I realized it. When I harvested them, most of them were softball size – EEEK. I figured they’d be a total loss because they’d be woody, but I cooked them anyways.
crosbys egyptian beet
When I cut the first one, I was amazed at how tender it was. At first bite, I was amazed by the texture, sweetness, and flavor of these beets! They are very smoothly texture, none of the woodiness or fibrousness that can sometimes be common with beets. The flavor is very sweet, very beetlike, with none of the earthiness that the major of beets have. These would be perfect for those family members who are against the “dirt” flavor in beets. I don’t mind the earthiness at all, but this beet has a place in the kitchen for sure. We’ve been enjoying them on salads with sheep milk feta, pickled red onions, walnuts, and a maple mustard vinaigrette. I’ll definitely be adding these to my must grow list from here on out. I highly recommend giving this variety a go.

Have you discovered any flavorful new varieties of favorite vegetables?

Give Me a B!

August 27th, 2015

I love beets, especially pickled. Even as a wee little lassie I had an affinity for the pickled purple roots. My mom made them often and I gobbled them up. I don’t do a lot of canning, but I always make two half gallon jars of pickled beets for the fridge. When we eat up the beets, I love throwing boiled eggs in the juice so I can have lovely pink eggs for my salads.
harvesting beets 2
For this reason, I’ve always grown beets in the garden. Not a ton, just a 15 foot row or so. Enough to eat throughout the summer and enough to pickle. I never thin my beets because I like have a wide range of sizes. I love the huge ones for slicing into big rounds and I love the tiny ones for roasting whole.
harvesting beets 1
This year I grew ‘Early Wonder’ and ‘Detroit’. They were both fantastic, very long holding in the garden. In fact these beets were seeded very early and have been growing all summer.
harvesting beets 3
We like eating the beet greens as well, but when it comes time to pickle a load of beets, the chickens end up with the tasty leaves. I’m happy to hand them over as they’re a welcome treat for them. It seems like beets are one of those vegetables that people either love or hate, I’m so happy to be on the love side!

Do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

After being asked in the comment, I figured I’d add it here too. I love The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market (Revised Edition) and most of my pickling recipes come from it.

The Elusive Golden Beet

July 25th, 2013

I love golden beets, there’s just something about that beautiful golden color. Red beets are great too, but the golden ones are my favorites for roasting. Each year I plant seeds for golden beets and end up disappointed. Germination is never as good as it is with the red beets I plant, sometimes none of the seeds germinate.
golden beet harvest
This year was no different. I planted almost an entire packet of golden beets this spring and only about 15 germinated. The seeds were fresh, or they should have been as they were purchased this spring. My first thought was that I had planted them too early and the soil was too cool. However, I planted more seeds a couple weeks ago and not one seed germinated. I planted red beets last week and they’re already popping out of the soil.
golden beets 2
Luckily, I do have a few golden beets in the garden, not as many as I’d like. Next spring I’ll be ordering seed from a different source to see if perhaps the seeds I’ve had in the past were not very fresh (I have tried seed from a few different places). I’ve been very impressed with seeds from Johnny’s and High Mowing, so I’m planning on ordering a packet from each to see how they fare.
golden beets 1
If I do find a source of seed that germinates well I might consider trying to save seed from them. Freshness is often a key in good germination.

Is there a vegetable you can’t seem to grow no matter what you try?

A Little Fun

August 13th, 2009

Who said canning wasn’t fun? Last year I introduced a friend of mine the joy of pickled beets. He now loves them and always helps us pollish off jar after jar of them. I decided while canning some this year I’d make some just for him. Since he’s a fan of the The Office, I figured I’m make his with a special label.

Do you share your harvests with friends & family?

Bunches of Beets

August 10th, 2008

I harvested my beets this past week and I started some seeds for my fall harvest.

So what did I do with these beautiful beets? They were pickled. MMMMM, I love pickled beets.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.