"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

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thinning and Weeding

This past week has found us on our knees busy thinning and weeding in the gardens. We are trying to get everything thinned out straightaway this year as the gardens are about three weeks behind due to this spring's cool rainy weather. Our veggies need to have every opportunity to grow over the next 2 months...time is not on our side. That's OK though, I enjoy the challenge and Mother Nature does not have the endurance to go 12 rounds with us.:)

When we worked our beets the other day I made sure to save some of them for the freezer.


This mess of greens, roots and all, will be used cooked, in soups, and even added to the occasional smoothie.


Two minutes of blanching, run some cold water on them, gently squeeze dry and they are ready for the freezer.

17 comments:

Silke said...

That is an excellent idea! You really use everything (well, almost), don't you? I love beets! Always have... What interesting weather you've had this year with such a mild winter and then the rainy spring. We are enjoying (NOT) lovely heat and are hoping for a storm every night, which just isn't happening. We haven't had rain in weeks! Happy Sunday! Silke

LynnS said...

Your beautiful pile of organic tender greens would fetch about $25/pound in many places. Yes, you are rich with your backyard wealth!

Homemade soups with handfuls of 'this n that' are so fun to make and to eat.

Your garden is still the ultimate....

Diane@Peaceful Acres said...

I was so looking forward to beets, but the deer ate every last one of them. I hope my fall crop makes it. We are having a real deficit of rain now...dry as a bone. Looks like Silke and I are sharing the same weather.

We have more baby goats Mike!!! 2 little boys...called the fellas. So cute!

Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

Love what you guys do with the thinnings. For us if they don't go into a dinner salad then they just go to the chickens.

Heiko said...

I wish I had enough beets to make them worth thinning out, but they are rubbish. Roots don't do it for me! This reminds me about my promised contribution about weeds and the meaning of life. Must get around doing that soon!

vrtlarica said...

Weeding is the only job in the garden that I don’t like. It is not that hard to do, but its the fact that I will have to repeat it all over again in a few weeks.
I love it how you use thinnings. It would be a shame not to eat all that lovely greens and roots.

johnnydesoto said...

You guys are always thinking. Guess that's where seed saving starts to pay dividends. Great idea! I usually use thinnings in salads, but I never have enough to freeze. But if I had an abundance of seed....heh...

Growing beets this year for the first time in a long while. Lutz is great because you get so many greens out of it, but it seemed very attractive to leafminer here. I tried Boltardy this year but it seems susceptible to damping off. It's always something.

Maybe if save seed for a few years it will adapt to the soil fungus here. Another way saving seed pays off.

It's me ...Mavis said...

I think I might try this... our beets are doing VERY well this year... and I plan on planting another round of them in another 6 weeks or so... I'm looking forward to roasted beets on the bbq :)

kitsapFG said...

The thinned bed of beets look beautiful - as does the pile of thinnings! I seeded several short rows of turnips last week and was very heavy handed with the seeding as it was three year old seed and I was expecting it to have low viability. It all germinated with gusto and I have several rows of over crowded turnips as a result that need thinning. I am going to wait until the plants are just a little bigger (easier to handle) before tackling it - but it needs to be done.

Mr. H. said...

kitsapFG - It's funny how we are conditioned to want new seed every year when often old seed, sometimes really old, still has pretty good germination rates.

I finally figured out that if I plant my turnips in late August I can have nice maggot free roots my October. Happy gardening!

Granola Girl said...

We are growing beets for the first time this fall. Good to know you can eat the tops too!

Mr. H. said...

Granola Girl - Some people say the tops are the best part. That is one of the nice things about beets, you can steal a few leaves while waiting for the root to develop.:)

LynnS said...

Hey Mike, 5 quarts is more than I figured that you'd get! lol

Never tried growing gold beets. What would the grandson say if you didn't give him the red beets and that ability to show blood in the garden?

Just today I found a small beet hiding amidst the leaf lettuce I pulled out and it went into a veggie dish for our evening meal. The last beet....no more turnips either. I may try them as a fall crop after what you said. They are nothing more than a flea beetle attractor these past couple of years.

Was your kale overwintered or an early spring crop? We froze early spring kale this year but with all the other foods coming from the garden, we haven't pulled much out of the freezer lately.

Mr. H. said...

Lynn - The grandson would indeed be a bit disappointed if we did not grow his favorite Bull's Blood beets...of course he is not here to enjoy them this summer anyway so I suppose there will be more for me.

I am growing very little Swiss chard this spring because of leaf miners, they do not seem to like the beet greens quite as much though...I guess we all have some accursed pest to deal with...glad I don't have any flea beetles.

The kale we harvested was from plants I started early this spring. Our goal is to freeze a bunch as I think this will be a Jim Dandy of a winter for us and I may not be able to count on our winter rows to get us through the cold season...I think I could live off of kale and potato soup if need be.:)

LynnS said...

Fantastic to actually have an early spring-planted crop of Kale in your zone. I love the hardiness of Kale -- makes it a great choice for a durable vegetable. If you had to live off of a few veggies, I'd say that Kale and Potatoes are two of the better choices. Here's hoping the Winter won't throw you such a nasty one this year.

GetSoiled said...

Really? I used to pride myself on never wasting anything edible...until I met you guys!

I love it, I always learn something new when I visit you!

Mr. H. said...

GS - "See a penny, pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck. See a penny, let it lie, sure you'll want before you'll die."

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