Organic beet seeds deliver tasty green tops within 30 days, with roots that are ready for the table in 50-65 days. They can be prepared in many ways, fresh in salads, pickled, mashed and in soup. Greens are often steamed and served with bacon, vinegar and butter. Raw beet juice has become popular and can be combined with carrot, parsley and other juices or served plain.
Plant organic beet seeds in the garden in succession, approximately every 2 weeks. By doing so, you will have a fresh supply of greens while waiting for the roots to develop.
The beets and greens harvested from organic beet seeds have many benefits:
* They contain a high concentration of many B-complex vitamins, particularly folate, although these can be diminished by overcooking. They provide copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and potassium.
* Beet roots deliver glycine betaine to the body, reducing levels of homocystiene in the blood. Homocystiene can contribute to strokes or heart attacks.
* Vitamin C levels are highest in the greens, although the roots contain slight amounts. They also deliver flavonoid anti-oxidants, Vitamin A, and carotenoids.
* Dieters appreciate beets as they contain 60 calories for a cupful and are a high-fiber food.
* Ancient Romans considered beets an aphrodisiac and also used them medicinally. They contain natural nitrates that increase blood flow and improve workouts.
Yellow beets contain B-xanthin which gives them their unique hue. Red beets derive their color from betalain. Both varieties contain nutrients and are considered to beneficial to the diet. Germination rates are slightly lower with yellow or golden beet seeds, so consider planting extra. A few popular types include:
* Organic Detroit Dark Red Beets are fine textured and have a sweet taste. They are an heirloom, in cultivation since 1892. A hardy red interior that does well early in the year as it grows in cool weather.
* Organic Burpee Golden Beet seed delivers beets with a yellow interior that add a sweet flavor to salads.
* Organic Bulls Blood Beet dates to at least 1840. It is a popular pickling choice and has greens that are deep magenta in color.
* Organic Chioggia Beet Seed produces a sweet, candy cane red and white striped interior with pink and green tops
* Early Wonder Beet seeds are often grown as much for their emerald colored greens as for the beetroot.
* Organic Touchstone Golden Beet seeds deliver a sweet beet that can be enjoyed cooked or raw. The interior is gold and the plants are topped off with glossy greens. A short growing season of 55 days is another benefit of this popular variety.
Many gardeners enjoy growing more than one type of organic heirloom beet seed. Some varieties, such as the Bulls Blood, are grown as much for their ornamental value as for harvesting. The greens can be canned or frozen similar to the way Swiss chard and spinach are stored. The beets themselves can be used to make pickles, stored in a cellar in a manner similar to potatoes, or canned.
Growing organic produce from heirloom seeds will help ensure a healthier diet. The Sustainable Seed Company http://sustainableseedco.comGreens and Roots from Organic Heirloom Beet Seeds/ offers over 1570 varieties of organic and heirloom seeds for home gardeners.
Photo. Jill Wellington