Thursday, April 23, 2009


There's nothing quite as satisfying as picking some fresh produce from the garden and serving it up with dinner. I don't plant a huge garden, because realistically I'm not going to weed and maintain it properly. But I make up for lack of volume in diversity. I plant some beets, carrots, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers. Sometimes I throw pumpkins in the mix too. Not all of these plants are in a plot garden, but in containers. Container gardening takes almost all work out of weeding. Lettuce, spinach, endive and Swiss chard do particularly well in containers. MK and I have discovered that cherry tomatoes are easier to stake and maintain in a large container. We experiment a lot with what we grow and how we grow it. Last year's entire silver queen sweet corn crop fell victim to a violent thunderstorm. Given how much space in the garden plot I had to allow for corn only to lose everything has scared me away from planting it again this year. Maybe next year, but this year I want more beets.
I never thought much of beets because I'd never eaten them freshly roasted before. Once I had I couldn't believe how wonderful they are! So, I'm planting more beets, and butternut squash.
Anyone else garden? Any tips?


Julie said...

Tell me more about roasted beets? I am intrigued.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

There are a lot of different ways to roast the beets: trimmed of greens, wrapped in foil and placed on a baking sheet in the oven at 375F for an hour, trimmed of greens (you can eat the greens too, btw), sliced about an inch thick, placed in a covered baking dish and roasted at 350F for about 45minutes. Any way that you roast the beets, you know that they're done when you can pierce them easily with a fork.
Then you can serve them as is, or drizzle some olive oil over them and sprinkle them with salt.
They are unbelievable tasty, sweet and delicious!

Julie said...

The one thing I don't like about all the beets I've ever had was that they were too firm and crunchy. If roasting will soften them up, that's worth a try. Thanks!

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Roasted beets aren't crunchy at all or necessrily firm, but they aren't total mush either. A bit firmer than mush :) Oh, and after you roast them, you can peel the skin off easily. Do not peel before roasting. Just rinse them well in icy cold water.

Julie said...

Thank you - I would have tried to peel them. And I probably would have been sorry. :-)

drollgirl said...

YUM!! fresh veggies! i am retarded and have never tried beets. i love the color but am chicken shit to put them in my mouth. maybe if they were grilled or roasted and not in a can. maybe.

gypsywee said... them! My favorite beet recipe is grated raw beats and carrots tossed with crumbled feta cheese and dressed with good balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper. Beets taste a lot like carrots when they are raw. Every beet-hater that has tried this salad has loved it. ;)

gypsywee said...

My '09 seedlings include:
yellow squash (zuc)
acorn squash
butternut squash
green beans
green onions
seeds to sew directly:
mixed greens

I'll probably buy some additional plants at the nursery and get a bunch of nice herbs. I also want to pick up some "bright lights" swiss chard seeds. I've grown it in the past and the sun shining through the leaves is so beautiful...mmmm...and it tastes good too!