Beets are a dependable cool-weather crop that grows properly in temperate climates. One of many largest benefits of beets is which you can develop them in each early spring and late fall, in as little as two months.

This fashion homesteaders can maximize their backyard house when temperatures are too low for different greens. 

To profit from this prolific crop, you’ll must know the perfect methods to protect them.

Sorts of Beets

The way you protect your beets will rely on the sort you’ve grown. 

All present beet varieties below cultivation are descendants of the wild beetroot, also referred to as the ocean beet or Beta vulgaris subsp. Maritima.

Farmers and homesteaders develop beetroot in three fundamental varieties:

  • Desk beets
  • Fodder beets
  • Sugar beets

Chard is a associated species, however usually grown for its darkish pink leaves and never usually preserved.

Desk Beets

Desk beets are the pink or yellow root greens most of us are acquainted with. You’ll see them in grocery shops in cans or jars. 

Fodder Beets

Fodder beets, or area beets, are used to feed livestock. Typically known as mangel beets, these develop a lot bigger than desk beets.

The Purple Mammoth selection boasts a 20-pound root and edible greens as much as a meter in peak. Though they’re used to feed animals, they’re completely appropriate for human consumption and regarded a survival crop in occasions of want.

Sugar Beets

Sugar beets are greater in sucrose and decrease in moisture than desk or fodder beets. As much as one-third of the world’s desk sugar manufacturing comes from sugar beets.

They will simply be transformed to usable sugar, even at dwelling. This implies homesteaders in cooler climates can change into extra self-sufficient in these small however vital luxuries.

10 Choices for Preserving Beets

Some strategies could appear apparent, however we now have additionally included a number of the extra uncommon methods to protect beets.

When most individuals take into consideration rising and preserving beets, they give thought to pickled pink beets or canned beets from the grocery retailer. We’ve discovered just a few extra artistic methods to protect the various kinds of beets.

1. Within the Floor

Beets in the ground

Beets supply flexibility throughout the busiest occasions of the rising yr as a result of they are often harvested at completely different phases. They’re additionally extraordinarily chilly hardy, so one of many easiest and best methods to retailer beets is within the floor.

For those who’re rising beets and may’t pull them straight away, you possibly can depart them within the backyard over winter. Whereas the greens might die again, the roots will stay viable, and you may harvest them at your comfort.

2. Root Cellar Storage

in hill root cellar

Basements, cellars, and garages make good storage choices for any root greens. For finest outcomes, guarantee your storage space is darkish, cool, and dry.

Take away the greens and permit the beets to air dry. Brush off any unfastened soil, however don’t wash them. Retailer your beets in a field or bucket full of moist sand. You may as well use coconut coir or peat moss. Use sufficient sand to make sure the roots don’t contact one another and seal the field or bucket tightly, so the sand stays moist.

3. Pickling and Canning

pickled beets

Canned and pickled beets are straightforward to make at dwelling, and each strategies supply wonderful long-term storage choices for beets.

Canning beets with out pickling requires a stress canner since they don’t naturally comprise sufficient acid to stay protected when processed at decrease temperatures. Nonetheless, canned beets supply extra cooking versatility due to their milder taste.

Pickling has a definite benefit over canning. As soon as pickled, you possibly can refrigerate your beets for a number of months. Alternatively, you possibly can water bath-can them for shelf-stable storage as much as a yr.

One technique the Amish use for preserving beets is to pickle them with hard-boiled eggs. This ends in a extremely addictive snack full of protein and phytonutrients. You’ll must retailer beet-pickled eggs within the fridge, however they’ll last as long as 4 months.

4. Freezing Beets for Storage

Freezing provides more energizing taste than pickling or canning, and you may freeze beets for as much as a yr in case you course of them appropriately. Not like most greens, although, you’ll must cook dinner them utterly earlier than freezing fairly than simply blanching them.

5. Dehydrating Beets

Nesco Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

Dehydrating is one other long-lasting method to protect beets for later use. If processed and saved appropriately, they’ll final for a few years.

You should use your oven to dehydrate your harvest or spend money on a meals dehydrator. A meals dehydrator is a well-liked selection since oven-drying may be time consuming and use a number of power.

The Nesco Gardenmaster Professional is an environment friendly and inexpensive mannequin. You’ll be able to add extra trays if wanted, making it extra versatile than oven-type fashions. We’ve been utilizing a Nesco for over 20 years, and it’s simply as dependable now because it was once we first bought it.

6. Powdering Beets

You will have seen powdered beetroot on the market as a sports activities complement due to its skill to help in muscle restoration. As soon as dehydrated, you possibly can grind your dried beets right into a nice powder utilizing a espresso grinder or high-powered blender.

One benefit of preserving beets as powder is that it takes up much less house within the pantry. The opposite is its versatility. Use it as a meals coloring or add it to soups and stews to spice up diet. You’ll be able to even make your personal sports activities drink utilizing beetroot powder.

7. Preserving Beets as Sugar

You’ll want sugar beets to make your personal sugar, however you probably have sufficient land and wish to experiment, it’s price exploring.

You’ll find sugar beet seed on the patron market, though it’s typically marketed for meals plots to draw wild recreation. These beets are completely fit for human consumption, and the seed is generally less expensive than these bought to develop crops for human consumption.

Relying in your expectations and the instruments you have got at hand, making sugar at dwelling may be as easy or as sophisticated as you select. Easy strategies yield a uncooked sugar that retains a number of the “vegetable” taste of the beets.

You’ll be able to refine your selfmade sugar by processing it additional with milk of lime and seltzer. 

8. As a Beverage

Beet drinks aren’t only for athletes. There are different methods to protect beets as drinks.

You can also make wine from fodder beets. That is one method to protect beets for the long run, because it must ferment for a yr or extra earlier than consuming.

You may as well make a “root beer” or fizzy drink from mangels, which is able to want no less than one yr to course of.

9. Protect Beets as Ethanol

One of many key obstacles that homesteaders face is entry to sustainable power. One method to obtain that is to generate our personal biofuels, and mangel beets are among the finest candidates for ethanol manufacturing.

With the precise expertise, satisfactory house, and crucial permits, homesteaders can convert fodder beets to ethanol and scale back their reliance on outdoors gas sources.

10. Protect Beets as Protein

One among my favourite methods to protect my harvest is by changing it to animal merchandise. Cattle love fodder beets and so they’re a well-liked feed choice with dairy farmers. You may as well use them in ending beef cattle.

Even small homesteaders can profit, as you possibly can feed each mangels and desk beets to pigs, meat chickens, and laying hens. Your hens will recognize the beet greens specifically.

Chop fodder beets properly to make them simpler to your livestock to eat. You may as well feed them the leftover pulp from processing beets for sugar or wine.

Ideas for Success

  • When preserving beets for later use, don’t neglect the greens. Clear, chop, and blanch your beet greens for 2 minutes. Chill instantly in an ice tub after which drain and dry utterly. Flash-freeze them on a sheet pan to retailer loosely in a freezer container so you possibly can select as a lot as you want for cooking. Utilizing a vacuum sealer will assist you to retailer them for as much as a yr with out freezer burn.
  • Protect beets in pre-cooked meals for the freezer and save time within the kitchen. There are a number of beet-based recipes that translate simply into freezer meals. Think about soups and stews like borscht and pink flannel stew.
  • Use beets to sweeten baked items. Beets are the unique pink coloring and sweetener for pink velvet cake. Use beets so as to add sweetness and moisture to muffins and breads, which may be frozen for a number of months.

Straightforward to develop, with two cropping seasons a yr, you might surprise why you’d hassle to protect beets in any respect. You could possibly simply develop beets and use them recent, however preserving beets offers constant availability of this meals staple, and you probably have a foul harvest one yr, you’ll nonetheless have a provide of beets to depend on. 

Beets are fast-growing greens and most backyard varieties are prepared in 55 to 60 days. This makes them a wonderful selection for any survival backyard or self-sufficient homestead. For those who protect them utilizing one among these strategies, you’ll at all times have them readily available. 

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