Thursday, October 8, 2009

This Week's Random Tidbits

beets 2
I harvested my first beets this week. They were about 2 - 3 inches in diameter and tasted fantastic! It's a good thing they do as I'm the only one around here who likes them. I sliced a couple up tonight and simply grilled them for dinner. The greens look quite good as well so I think I may saute them this weekend or use them as part of the filling for some stuffed pasta shells.

garlic order
Today, I received my garlic order from Seed Savers Exchange. I purchased two hardneck heirloom varieties - German Extra Hardy and Pskem River. They looked very plump and unblemished. Here are the descriptions given by SSE:

German Extra Hardy - Vigorous grower with long roots that enable it to overwinter without heaving out of the ground. Outside skin is ivory-white, but the clove skin is dark red. Strong raw flavor, high sugar content, one of the very best for roasting. Hardneck, 4-7 cloves per bulb.

Pskem River -
Originally collected by SSE member John Swenson in 1989 from the Pskem River Valley in Uzbekistan. Beautiful purple striped cloves, full flavor. Hardneck, 4–5 large cloves per bulb.

Sounds tasty don't they?! I'm trying to decide whether to plant them out this weekend or wait until after our first light frost, which seems just around the corner. When is YOUR preferred time to plant garlic?

grow magazine
Finally, I'm sure most of you have already discovered GROW from the editors of Fine Gardening magazine, but for those of you who haven't, these are a must read! I came across the second volume published this year at Border's earlier this week (not sure when it came out) and it is just as informative as the first. In this issue, there is great advice on growing everbearing day-neutral strawberries, green beans, beets, carrots, peppers and pumpkins. I'm already excited for spring!


  1. I grew German Extra Hardy this year. It did quite well. I think it crated on average the best head of all the varieties. One variety had larger heads, but some of the cloves rotten in the ground.

    Last year I planted on the 14th. So I really ought to get my garlic picked out to plant. I don't wait until the first frost. My first frost is usually the end of October (though it might have been the beginning of Nov last year).

  2. Thomas you are going to LOVE Pskem River. It is a real champ. And the Columbus Day Weekend is the perfect time to plant.

  3. Thomas - those are some nice beets ya got there. We don't eat them, but they sure are pretty to look at. I'll keep an eye out for that magazine...

  4. I love beets! I keep them in the oven till they get soft, then just peel, slice and eat.

  5. Oh my I have much to catch up on...I must learn not to read your posts if I am not full to the gills, they make me soooo hungry!!

    Are you formally trained or is cooking just a hobby you have perfected?

  6. Daphne and Leslie - Oh good! I'm so happy that you both like these varieties. It makes me feel better since I had a heck of a time trying to decide on which to buy. Another benefit to connecting with local gardeners - veggie feedback!

    EG - They ARE pretty. Beets were definitely an acquired taste for me. Maybe one day someone will sneak a beet into your sandwich and you will start to like them as well

    Tatyana - I agree with you - beets are best when you prepare them simply.

    Kelly, cooking is just a hobby for me. Granted, I've been doing it since I was about 8 years old (times were different then...haha).