Friday, June 26, 2009

Demo Garden Grows!

The demo garden has grown beautifully over the last two weeks! The muskmelon, nasturtiums, and even the sweet peas are up! There is a wonderful stand of each. We were a little worried about our chance of germinating sweet peas in this hot weather, but the lure of gorgeous looking and delightful smelling blossoms prompted their planting anyway.

One of the local Girl Scout troops made superb vegetable signs to adorn the garden, which pleased the demo garden volunteers. Our favorite is one that says “sweet pepper” on one side and “sour pepper” on the other.

I finally was able to plant Buckwheat seed this week for our cover crop! It should germinate within 4-5 days, so hopefully I will see little seedlings popping up by the beginning of next week.

While I was planting the Buckwheat, I took a look at all of the other plants in the garden and discovered that a few of our radishes are ready to eat! I pulled one and ate it, yum! Due to the heat the radish was a little spicy, although I always think that Cherry Belle radishes are a little on the spicy side.

The beets, turnips, and radishes were thinned early in the week to allow each plant enough room to grow. While the demo garden beets are a long way from mature, I am now starting to eat the beets out of my families’ garden.

I love beets.

I even have a shirt that says “I dig beets” on it. The greens make an attractive addition to salad mix when they are small and tender and raw beets are good chopped up in salad. I spent the last 4 months in New Zealand, and during my time there I even acquired a taste for pickled beets. Even if you aren’t beet crazy, you will probably still enjoy roasted beets.

I think that roasted beets taste exactly like sweet corn. While I am going to have to wait a few weeks for some fresh sweet corn from the farmers market, and probably until August in order to eat corn from my garden, I can eat beets now. Plus they make a brilliantly purple dish on your plate!

To roast beets just cut the greens off about 1 inch above the root and cut off the skinny root.
Toss the beets in olive oil
Roast at 400 F for about 1 hour
Put some butter and salt on the beets and enjoy!
I eat the skin and it tastes just fine if the beets are fresh. If you are opposed to eating the skin, it pulls away easily after roasting.

Kelsey wrote about beets already, so sorry for another post about beets. But please try them if you haven’t already!


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