"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Let's Eat Some Beets
So you don't like beets? Good news! You're probably in the U.S. majority - just not at our house. We absolutely love beets. We love the beet's fresh greens added to our daily salads or steamed with a dab of butter. We love to force a beet in the middle of winter on a sunny window sill and then cut the tops into a salad finishing it off with the grated root...yes, raw. Those roots are not too bad cooked either.:)
Your average disliked beet contains numerous vitamins (especially the greens), minerals, energy giving carbohydrates, sugar, fiber (most Americans could use a little more fiber), sodium, and fatty and amino acids that will help build the muscles necessary to raise your own beets. All of these compounds make your average homegrown, organically of course, beet a nutritional powerhouse that can single handily help stave off many of today's serious health ailments. How does that saying go "A beet a day keeps the Doctor away."...something like that.
We harvested well over 400 beets the other day and will easily consume them all before June of next year. Our beets are always harvested before carrots, parsnips, and Belgian endive as they tend to stick up out of the ground and too hard a frost could damage them. After cutting the tops off about 1" from the stem the beets are then layered in damp sand in coolers and totes in the root cellar. They will usually keep this way until late May sometimes June. The best of the greens are blanched and frozen and the rest go to the chickens. We grew cylindrical, bulls blood, albino, golden, red and yellow mangles, lutz, chioggia, and early wonder beets. None of our beets grew very big this year but most were of adequate size. Actually, the golden beets were once again pretty wimpy but I like them so much that I will continue to try and grow them in the future.
New to us, these yellow mangles seemed to do really well, although I have not tasted them yet.
Our two faithful standbys, cylindrical and chiogga. Chioggia is not my favorite but always performs well in our garden. I love cooking with the cylindrical beets, so very easy to work with.
One of my all time favorite beets - Bulls Blood. If hilled in these will often survive in the garden until spring, and the greens (reds) can be eaten all winter long. And because of the name our grandson loves to eat them raw and show off his "bloody" teeth.
Did you know that a simple way to make your own sugar is to simply cook your strained beets juices down until they are as thick as honey, cool to crystallize, and voila! Home grown sugar. I'm am going to try it this winter with my white beets.
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
On Permaculture, Edible Landscaping and Garden Plants
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.