Year of the Beet



Beet Lutz Green Leaf from Territorial Seed Company – National Garden Bureau

Origin: Mediterranean

Family: Amaranthaceae

Genus: Beta

Includes: The root vegetable, known as beetroot or garden beet; the leaf vegetable, known as chard and spinach beet; and field beet, now popular as a cover crop.

Uses: Beets can be used fresh in salads, made into soups, pickled or shredded.

Groups: Altissima, Cicla, Flavescens, Conditiva, Crassa

Fun Fact:  A beet’s red color comes from an antioxidant called betalain, which was used as an ingredient in makeup that produced the ‘red as a beet’ coloring and saying.

A Bit of History: Today, the beet is marketed as a “superfood.” It’s high in fiber, vitamins A and C, and has more iron than most vegetables. But that hasn’t always been the case: After World War I, food shortages resulted in what relief workers called “mangelwurzel disease,” symptomatic of eating only beets.

Breeders: Bejo Seeds, GardenTrends, Johnny’s Selected Seed, RH Shumway, Sakata Seed, Territorial Seed Company

Source: National Garden Bureau.

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