Beet, Lutz Green Leaf (Organic)
Beta vulgaris. Round Red. 70-90 days.
An old standby winter storage beet with vibrant red roots and pale green leaves. Some Lutz strains commonly available have red leaves and stems – we are offering the original green-stemmed variety whose leaves have much better flavor. Our friend Avram Drucker of Garlicana, who stewarded this variety for many years, says, “If I had to pick only one [beet] variety for homesteading, there’s just no question that this is it.” Lutz Green Leaf is claimed by most, to be “not a pretty beet,” but we disagree, finding it to be quite pretty and amazingly sweet as well. Light green leaves are especially tasty for beet greens, and are good when young in salads or cooked up like chard when more mature. Word is roots stay tender even when very large (up to 12 lbs!) – I can’t imagine any beet being pretty at that size. Lutz Green Leaf has won us over.
Seed produced by Uprising Organics in Lynden, Washington.
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.