Mandy's Greenhouses / Beets
My! They did not have so many colorful Beet varieties when I was growing up! The mineral properties in these root vegetables rate way beyond most other vegetables. When I trialed several side by side, I was blown away with the texture and flavor difference between them! Each one offers something different for those looking for terrific assortments. Can you imagine offering 3 different colors in one bowl? Even the leaves ( to be harvested quite young) offer wonderful color in fresh salads AND eye-candy in the garden! No part of this vegetable should ever be thrown away!
Because I want you eating more healthy, I will be offering greater quantity in all my packets this year…so lets go shopping!
All packets are $2.50 (for 2013) each unless otherwise indicated.
- Albina Vereduna – (aka Blankoma, aka White Albino) Some say this one originated in Holland. A (pure) white beet root with green leaves. Roots are tender, mild and very, very sweet. The leaves can be used as greens or cooked gently and added to stews or soups. Great for kids! Shorter shelf -life than other beet varieties. 50-65 days
- Bull’s Blood – Selected by seed-man Kees Sahin of the Netherlands from a French variety called “Crapaudine” for the darkest colored leaves. The juice from this beet is used to make the only red food coloring allowed by Swedish Law. Tap roots are long and very sweet, therefore requiring well-worked loam soil. Plant in July for a fall and winter harvest. Plants love sun but not heat. (The heat tends to make them stringy and tough). Keep roots mulched and cool. Some say that this beet came from Britain. 55+ days
- Burpee’s Golden – Introduced to gardeners before 1828. Roots are globe-shaped and orange, turning golden yellow when cooked. A dual purpose beet for roots and greens. Tender and mild even when large! Excellent for salads as the sliced roots won’t bleed. Leaves are sweet and flavorful. 55-60 days. Compared to others germination is less than ideal – so sow thick.
- Chioggia – (aka Bull’s Eye Beet, aka Dulce de Chioggia, aka Candystripe, aka Bassano) Has a reputation for “getting around”! Round light red roots about 3” in diameter. A hot pink and white, alternating rings or stripe inside. Very sweet and free of course rings. Documentation put it as an Italian heirloom. Pre – 1840! Noted for its earliness. 65-52 days. Relatively absent of traditional beet bleeding. Competes with weeds! Sweet, tasty green leaves and stems. Very useful in Italian cooking. A bi-color.
- Crapaudine – Oldest beet in cultivation dating back perhaps to the time of Charle Magne (about 1000 years). Has large (carrot-like) roots and green leaves. The roots are long and thick with rough black skin…and just a little “hairy”. Flesh remains a sweet red. The unusual part of this beet is that as it grows, it will not push itself out of ground! No need to hoe up this late producing variety. 75 days. Limited…$2.00
- Crosby’s Egyptian – Introduced in 1885. The parent of this Egyptian beet was running rampant in Germany in the 1860′s.This “Crosby” strain originated from the efforts of Josiah Crosby, of Arlington, Massachusetts…who selected for consistent earliness, increase in depth and removal of exterior “roughness”, as the original “Flat of Egyptian” was known for. This variety then became commercially available after seeds-man James Gregory of Marblehead, Mass. purchased these seeds from Mr. Crosby in 1880. Roots grow from 3″ to 5” long, are quite flattened in shape and insist on growing virtually on the surface of the soil! The roots have a dull dark red skin and deep dark red flesh. Medium-sized roots stay very tender through out their growth till freezing. Almost completely free from zoning. Very sweet. Best winter keeper! 52 days.
- Cylindra – ( aka Formanova, aka Forona) Unknown history. Uniquely shaped beet that resembles a very chubby long carrot, producing uniform round tender slices for eating and processing. Deep dark red flesh is free from woody textured “rings”. Roots are sweet and easy to peel. The roots grow downward instead of sideways. Leave them in the ground for frosts to increase its sweetness. One of my favorites. 46-80 days $2.00
- Detroit Dark Red – Introduced in 1892. Developed from the popular 19th century “Early Blood Turnip”. Original selections were made by Mr. Reeves of Port Hope, Ontario, Canada! Prolific – excellent canner. Very popular world wide. Deep dark red oval beet root and dark red/burgundy foliage! Resistant to downy mildew. Useful fresh or canned. Excellent flavor and keeper. 60 days. $2.00
- Detroit Golden – (aka Yellow Detroit) Unlike the Burpee’s “Golden Beet”, this one germinated far better and tolerates cooler soils. Pretty round gold-yellow roots. Best tasting when young. Nice sweet flavor. Leaves are light green. Will not germinate well in hot weather. Early… 50-55 days
- Detroit White - Unknown history. However as far as unusual beets go, this one has great color contrast with reds (or golds) in salads and will be the “talk of the town” when offered as a pickle. Leaves are a nice emerald green… great steamed or in soups where you don’t want red color bleeding. Roots are the same size & shape as its red cousin and very sweet according to many who have tried it. Will remain a staple in our root cellar…however will not store as long as other red varieties. Has problems germ. in hot weather, so get the seeds in the ground as soon as possible. Prefers growing cool, so mulch around its base. 55-80 days
- Early Blood Turnip – Dates back to pre 1825. Hard to find. A good all-purpose heirloom beet with dark red flesh, which is crisp, sweet & tender. Excellent for home gardens and markets. Very useable summer or fall. Rare! 48-68 days Limited quantities….$3.00
- Early Wonder – A quick growing variety of approximately 3″, semi-globular in shape. Flesh is deep red and skin is very smooth. Some folks says they have noticed slight rings of a lighter color. Leaves are deep green…making great additions to early spring salads. 55 days $2.00
- Early Wonder Tall Top – From 1911. Smooth skinned, ball-shaped beet root, that also provides tender tasty greens as well. (SSS says “Leaves are dark green with a maroon tinge. Plants grow to 18” tall. Dark purple flattened 3” beet roots”) One of the earliest maturing beet varieties known. Will not germinate well in hot weather, therefore sow early! ?60 days
- Flat of Egypt – Back again for 2013! In 1885, Vilmorin said “An exceedingly early variety and certainly the best of the early kitchen-garden kinds” Since obtaining this variety several years ago, has become one of my personal favorites! Unusual root shape…like someone sat on it, making it more wider than tall. Its size when grown in my garden was larger than the “Detroit Dark Red“. Its interior had no fibrous “strings” and its sweet flesh was a deep crimson/burgundy. The leaves were also a beautiful blend of emerald green and crimson/burgundy…and shorter than conventional beet relatives. Limited quantities…$3.00
- Geante Blanche – ( aka Giant White) A “larger”, but not the largest fodder beet. Unusual in that as much as it was designed for cattle feed, it is a string-less and tasty variety. Can reach about (I’m told…10-15 lbs) lbs. A mainstay in France for livestock for the winter. Long, pointed white roots with green shoulders and green tops. Limited quantities…
- Giant Yellow Eckendorf – considered by those who know it, as being one of the finest sugar/stock beets ever produced. In a catalog of Henry Fields in 1927, they had written: “Giant smooth long roots of cylindrical shape with weights reaching 20 lbs and growing 2/3 of itself above ground”. Thanks to B.C. Seeds for bringing this back into circulation. The skin on these roots are indeed yellow & smoother than most stock beets I have seen. Flesh is pale white, offering high food value. Perfect for small farms with animals that need some vegetables for winter consumption. Of special note: c/o Eric Lindblad...” University Chemical Lab., Cambridge…says: According to a chart of 1898!…(that T.B. Wood supplied…) it appears that mangels, as soon after they are pulled, contain a large portion of their nitrogen in the form of nitrates, a form in which it is of no use to stock for feeding purposes…By January, rather the reverse occurs the proportion of nitrogen present as nitrate has fallen to less than half its original amount. This fall in nitrate is counterbalanced by a large rise in the proportion of amide nitrogen, which is, at any rate, not harmful. The amount of nitrogen as ammonia decreases only very slightly, while the albuminoids and peptones slowly increase…which are of the highest feeding value.” Ok, so I did not get 20 lb. roots but 5-6 lbs was nothing to sniff at here in Manitoba! See people how hard we have to work up here!! Limited quantities…
- Lutz Green Leaf – (aka “Winter Keeper Chard“, aka “Lutz Salad Leaf” ). Heirloom variety from Germany…different names given to it by Amish & Mennonite settlers. Maintains higher than normal levels of sweetness. It is an excellent keeper, developed before the days of refrigeration. Tender even when very mature. Grows (greens) from 14” – 18” tall. Emerald green foliage is of excellent eating quality. 4 to 5 lb. roots are medium red with rings of lighter zones. This variety is excellent for late planting. Elongated leaves, with chard – like midribs, make delicious greens. A great way to get your vitamins and iron (if eaten raw). 60-76 days Limited quantities…$3.00
- McGregor’s Favorite – New for 2013! “A rare Scottish heirloom that was grown particularly for its fancy narrow “spear-shaped” metallic purple leaves…S.S.Ex.” Wow! If this variety looks anything like in its photos…it has amazing ornamental value! As with many beet varieties in their young stage…leaves are tender, sweet and very nutritious. This one should add fantastic color in any salad, too. Limited quantities…$3.00
- Red Mangel – (aka Mangel Wurzel… “Wurzel” means “Root” in German) YET…here is a French heirloom known well, all over Europe! Later became a favorite in the U.S. as a forage beet for cattle and sheep. (In my recent trials I have discovered there are 2 different forms of this variety. Many years ago, this one was extraordinary huge (oval, wide & long, with rounded sides) and skin color varying between dull pinkish/red to beige. In 2013 another one produced triangular (tapered) roots, with very wide tops and hot pink skin. I will have to re-trial these 2 varieties side by side again!) Has an excellent flavor (for people) if picked smaller when young. Years ago trials produced large 15 – 20 lbs roots! When cooked the texture is that of tender beets but the flavor is more potato – like with a touch of sweetness! If you find ordinary beets too strong, try this one. 75-80 days Lots available! $2.00
- White Sugar Beet – New for 2013! Finally! I have sought and I have found an open pollinated, commercial grade white sugar beet! Well known in the sugar processing industry. Roots can reach several lbs., look like over-stuffed white carrots and are white fleshed with dusty light green shoulders. Leaves are a medium green with white stems. I have also discovered folks (videos) with their own ideas of extracting the sugar from these. Check these out! Can be used as farm and wild animal (deer) forage, as these make excellent supplementation in cold long winters. I have been told (by a very informed professor and teacher) that the greatest amount of nutrition (and maybe sugar?) heightens in mid winter…not immediate upon harvesting! Soooo…cure away! Lots available! $2.00
- Yellow Cylindrical – Very rare, large oblong golden yellow stock beet that is sweet and tasty if picked small. Some say to let them mature for high quality stock feed. (Mine did not grow to the size of the “Red Mangel ” variety that I grew years earlier. In fact this one had great flavor and was absent of woody rings. Another European heirloom offering tasty greens. Unusual shape. 55-60 days $2.00
- Yellow Tankard – ?Available fall 2013? Seeds were first given to me by my great friend and fellow gardener Eric Lindblad in 2010. He informs me that the “original purveyor of the “Golden Tankard” stock beet seed was an organization calling themselves: Ozark Seed Exchange of Hagarville, AR” (A non-government affiliated group, exclusively for the preservation of rare & declining seed stock with head quarters in the U.K. This rare yet well regarded stock beet cultivar was found on the North American continent before the turn of the 20th Century, well before the “Red Mangel” became so popular. Huge roots, elongated/oval with yellow/beige skin & pale yellow flesh. Hopefully the summer of 2013 will produce a great quantity of seed for sharing! 75-80 days N/A
Within these pages you will find some of the most unusual vegetables (plants and seeds) from all corners of the globe, as you will not find anywhere else! Welcome...be amazed and enjoy!