Year of the Beet8 months ago -
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.