Dateline: 3 November 2006
Back in June of this year Dave Taylor down in Georgia sent me some mangle beet seed from Heirloom Acres Seeds. He told me the beets would grow huge and weight up to 15 pounds. The roots could then be fed to the chickens through the winter. I blogged about it and, after planting the seed, I provided a couple of mangle beet blog updates through the season.
Last week we pulled up the beets and the photo above shows some of the sizeable roots. I don’t think any of them made it to 15 pounds but they are big enough to impress me. I washed them off with a garden hose and let them air dry....
I cut the top leaves off, packed the roots into wood-slat crates and put them in the basement. Potatoes keep well down there so I figure beets should too.
I also drilled a hole through one beet. strung some twine through and hung it against the wall in our henhouse. Now the chickens can have at it. Thus far, they haven’t shown much interest. But I figure that’s because they still have access to a lot of garden greenery. When snow covers the ground and they are cooped up for the winter, I suspect that hanging beet will look a whole lot more appealing.
Growing the beets was easy. The thinned greens were delicious. Next year I’ll grow mangle beets for the greens alone. But if my birds take to the roots, I’ll grow them again too.
And I think I’ll replant a couple of the biggest roots in the spring so I can get a harvest of seeds for planting the following season. We’ll make this sustainable.