Beet, Chioggia (Organic)
Beta vulgaris. Round Pink/White Rings. 65 days.
In our days as market growers, Chioggia beets were by far our customers’ favorite, and we loved them too. Dark pink on the outside, the inside features concentric rings of pink and white. The candy cane like appearance is as pretty as it is fun. But Chioggia charms the palate, too – much sweeter than red beets, with less of the “earthy” flavor that turns some people off from this nutritious root vegetable. Winter Chioggia beets are just about as sweet as candy. Plus, they don’t bleed as much as red beets when cooked, although the stripes do fade. Very good simply roasted with a little olive oil and salt. Green leaves. Heirloom originally from Chioggia, Italy, that has been in the US since the 1860s.
Direct sow March through early August in rows that are 1’ apart. Thin to 3” spacing once they’re 3” tall. Don’t forget to eat the greens! For us, beets can grow through the winter without protection, but must be sown by August for this purpose.
Collect seeds from 20+ plants in second year once seeds have dried down, usually by September. Cut seed heads, place on tarps, dry a few more days, then dance on the dry plants to free seed. Collect seeds from pile, winnow to clean. Isolate from other beets and chard by 1 mile.