Archive for the ‘beets’ Category


I am once again growing two kinds of beets this summer, Bull’s Blood and Chioggia beets.  Both varieties are heirloom and both date back to about 1840.

Chioggia beets were brought to the US from Italy, they are named for a small fishing town (Chioggia) near Venice.

Bull’s Blood beets are noted for their red foliage, its name hints of nineteenth-century origins when beets were known as blood turnips.

I harvested the first crop of beets last weekend.  Most were chioggia but I did harvest one bull’s blood beet, see if you can spot it below.

Bull's Blood beet

Chioggia and Bull's Blood beets

Chioggia and Bull's Blood beets

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The community garden officially opened last Thursday evening.  One of the first things we did was  measure out each of the individual plots.  I decided to switch things up a bit from the last garden map that I drew up a few weeks ago. Here is the new map:

As you can see we decided to devote more area for our wedding flowers. We now have 4- 5′ x 4′ plots at the east end of the garden. We will also have 2- 3′ x 6′ plots for the black-eyed susans (Cherry Brandy and Goldilocks). There will be 2- 4′ x 24′ plots that run down the length of the garden. Tomatoes will be planted here. In the middle of the garden we will have 5- 5′ x 5′ plots. One will be for lettuce, one for broccoli/kale, two for herbs (cilantro, basil, oregano, and rosemary), and one for peppers and eggplant. The 6 pepper plants will be planted in the Earth Box. Finally, we will plant our carrots and beets up the entire length of the two tomato plots.

I will post pictures soon…

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This year we will be gardening in a Full Plot (25′ x 30′) at Hunt Park. As some of my blog readers know, Natalie and I are getting married this summer and we are planning to grow our wedding flowers in the garden plot. We are planning to dedicate about 1/3 of the garden to this task, the other 2/3 will be for the multiple veggies that we are growing. We are also going to construct a potato box, and grow some of the peppers in a Earth Box (thank you Cindy!).

There will be a walkway that will run the length of the garden. When you first walk in, there will be 3 tomato types on the left (Nepal, Gooseberry, Brandywine) and 3 tomato types on the right (Green Zebra, Red Pear, and Velvet Red). Next to each tomato plant there will be a row of carrots.

As you walk west in the garden (toward the top of the diagram), on the left is where we will construct our potato box. In that area we will also plant the other 2 tomato types (gold rush currant tomato and sweet pea tomato). The beet area will be on the right – 2 types this year (Bulls Blood and Chioggia).

As you continue West, the next are on the left will be the lettuce, broccoli, and kale patch. As the summer goes by this may used for something else since these things don’t do to well in the summer heat. The herb patch will be on the right (cilantro, basil, rosemary, oregano). I will also place the Earth Box here which will include 2 types of pepper (Bull nose and Quadrato Giallo).

On the west end of the garden is where we are planning to plant our wedding flowers. We are growing 4 types here: Zinnias, Rudbeckia, Bells of Ireland, and Snapdragons.

Throughout the garden we will have some potted Sunflowers that will also be used for our wedding.

That is the plan for now…

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First Harvest!

On Saturday we had our first significant harvest so far this summer. We harvested 3 beets, 3 bunches of lettuce, 2 bunches of cilantro, and 5 onions. On Monday evening we created a meal around the beets, greens and all. Here is a great recipe from the New York Times on how to prepare beet greens. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/health/nutrition/08recipehealth.html?_r=1.

Here are some pics from our harvest and some updated garden pics:

“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway”
-Michael Pollan

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Natalie and I ventured to Royal Oak last night to see a showing of Food Inc. The movie was great, and as good as I thought it would be. We both had a pretty good understanding of the issues going in, and to see them described in more detail was very eye opening. A lot of reviews I have read mentioned that after you see Food Inc. you will never eat the same way again, which in my opionion is a very good thing. To see how evil corporations (Tyson, Perdue, Monsanto, Smithfield) operate should make us all call for change. Yes, the movie is very one-sided, but throughout the movie you see that none of these corporations would be interviewed for the movie. Instead they decide to post a response on their website, for example, http://www.monsanto.com/foodinc/. You can even take a quiz/an ‘explanation’ of their side of the story, have fun!

I encourage everyone who reads my blog to go see this movie, it opens in Ann Arbor at the Michigan Theatre on July 18. If you don’t live in Ann Arbor, you can find when the movie will be playing near you by going to http://www.magpictures.com/dates.aspx?id=3e3938d1-b785-4286-9ae0-8eb5952f1480.

In the meantime please sign this petition to get real food back in our schools http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch. Your signature will be used in a public display of support during this year’s reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. Here is the Time for Lunch Policy Platform http://www.slowfoodusa.org/downloads/campaigns/time_for_lunch-platform.pdf.

Natalie and I visited Rowe’s Produce farm last week and picked 11-pounds of strawberries for under $20 (strawberries were $1.46/Ib). The crazy thing is we stopped at Whole Foods on the way home to pick up some ice cream and saw Michigan strawberries for $3.99/Ib. Here are some pics from our strawberry picking…

Fianlly here are some updated garden pics…

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”

-Mahandas K. Gandhi

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I went to the garden plot last evening to check on the tomato/pepper seedlings and to water the garden. The seedlings are still looking a little weak, but a few days of sun and not being pounded by heavy rain should help. The beets and onions are really shooting up as is the lettuce. The clouds overhead last night were beautiful, here are some pics:

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