|This is about half of our harvest. The rest is still in the ground.|
The beet harvest this year is being canned using the same techniques as last year which you can find here. The big difference this year is the harvest. Our crop has done much better this year. The small patch of beets is six by eight feet and planted fairly close together. In fact, some of them are too close together which is preventing much growth for those beets. There is also plenty of competition from the grass since we have had so much rain. That, and the fact that I haven't been weeding very much lately.
We decided to cut off the greens and rinse off most of the dirt and mud outside on the porch. This routine worked very well. There wasn't near as much mud left in the sink after the final scrubbing before they went in the pot to cook.
The greens we kept to give to the chickens and goats a handful at a time. When I first started feeding these greens to the animals they would take a few bites and leave the rest. Now that it has become more routine, they tend to clean them up quickly. It takes time to change routines, especially feed rations for animals. I am happy to see how well they are consuming some different types of feed that are very good for them.
We tried a different type of beet this year, Lutz Green Leaf. The crop is much bigger which is great. One big difference in the beets this year is the color, they are much paler than last year. When we took them out of the canner, my first comment was, "These are really pale, they look like watermelon." Since this is only the second year we have grown beets, we don't have a lot of experience for very meaningful comparisons. It is another interesting learning curve. These beets taste very good, even to a former non-beet eater like me.
|2013 on the left, 2014 on the right|
For this harvest we canned 12 pints. Last year our entire harvest yielded only 5 pints, so we have already more than doubled our food supply and there are more left in the ground. It is very humbling and rewarding to put away food that you have grown from start to finish. It also brings a great deal of satisfaction and a sense of security knowing we have the knowledge and skill to bring food to the table for months to come.
I have seen pictures like these for years. Other people's pictures. Now, when I look at these and realize that we grew these, even among the weeds, I am humbled. What a blessed life.
Until next time - Fern