"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 13, 2010
Harvesting Beets and Carrots
The first frost visited us this morning, pretty light though and much later than I thought it would be this season, nothing was damaged. We have been busy picking and packing our beets and carrots for storage before a hard freeze sets in. It was a decent year for most root vegetables and they all seem to be of fairly good size and shape...not too big and not too small, perfect for storage in the root cellar. Most of the unblemished beet greens were picked, blanched, and frozen for later use the day before we pulled the roots.
Our carrots, beets, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, celeriac, scorzonera, salsify, sunchokes, and root parsley are all layered in between slightly damp soil in totes and coolers. They will remain in good condition for a long time this way. I just gave the remaining few beets from "last years" harvest to our chickens 2 days ago, they were still hard and perfectly edible over 12 months later. The chickens will slowly peck away at them as they begin to soften up.
These are Lutz beets that we grew for the first time this season, they are supposed to be a good storage beet that I learned about on Throwback at Trapper Creek's fine blog. After I took these pictures I also covered the top of these beets and carrots with a couple inches of soil.
This perfectly edible beet has been in storage for just over 12 months.
A Mammoth Red Mangle (beet) from our own saved seed. They are colored like Chioggia beets on the inside.
Bull's Blood beets are the grandson's favorite because they make his teeth look bloody. What can I say, we do what we can to get the lad to eat his veggies.:) He will eat them raw just like an apple. If you hill dirt over the roots of this variety they can be left in the ground to provide greens throughout the winter months.
My wife's favorite Flat of Egypt beets. Peering at us in the background, Gimpy, is back on garden patrol as she has once again injured her leg...or perhaps she is smarter than we think and just faking it.
My favorite Cylindrical beets grow well, taste great, and are easy to work with in the kitchen. They must be picked before a hard frost though as they do tend to stick up out of the ground quite a bit.
Giant Yellow Eckendorf can reportedly weigh up to 20 lbs, fortunately ours never get that big...what would we do with a 20 lb beet? I would only have to grow one or two.:)
Detroit Dark Red is a good all purpose beet that produces my favorite beet greens.
New to us this year, Crapaudine. For what it's worth, Baker Creek says - "In 1885, the French book, The Vegetable Garden stated this is one of the oldest varieties. Today some experts feel this may be the oldest beet still in existence, possibly dating back 1000 years. This unique variety is one of the most flavorful, with carrot-shaped roots that have rough, dark colored skin which looks like tree bark. Inside, the roots are very dark, with almost black flesh that is of superior quality and sought after by chefs who want real flavor. We are proud to offer this rare old selection."
This was one of the best years we have ever had for carrots. Our main storage varieties are Chantenay, Imperator, Danver Half Long, and Nantes.
Imperators are not the very best storage carrot but they always grow well in our loose soil.
We grew a variety of "novelty" purple, white, red, and yellow carrots this year too. The whites bolted, the purples struggled, but the Solar Yellow carrots may become a main crop carrot for us as they did so very well. I will have to see how they hold up in storage. I should mention that I found the reddish colored tops of the purple carrots so interesting that we incorporated them into many of our summer stir fry dishes...yes, you can eat carrot tops.:)
And last but not least here is a picture of some of the carrots I grew from our own seed. They are a cross between three different types that I re-planted and let go to seed last year. We ended up with a variety of shapes and sizes but nothing too special.
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.