Peter Norris
April 22, 2016

The beets lead a strange shady life in the kitchen garden, as they are grown almost exclusively in conditions that one would not offer very many other vegetables. It probably started some years ago, when we could not really tolerate beets. It should still be tried to grow them, but they should certainly not be too good and take cultivation space from the crops we liked. So they got the place no one else wanted, and then they just had to manage as best they could - and if they did not manage it, there would still be no one who missed them.

So pre-sprouted beets were stuffed in between both corn rows and pea rows where there was not enough light or space for quite a lot of other things. Here they huddled through the months of shadow and darkness, but did not allow themselves to be broken. And like the dandelion children of the kitchen garden, the hell took hold of them as soon as the tall plants around them were removed later in the season - where they ended up being developed as if they had always had optimal conditions. And the story also ended happily in the way that we eventually got to like (even quite) a lot of them.

Therefore, the beets need to be offered some new challenges this year. It has always "irritated" me that the space under a tent of pole beans can not really be used for anything sensible due to the miserable lighting conditions. There have been attempts with i.a. salad and courgettes, but they do not thrive on it. So now it's the beets' turn to live under the beans. The sprouted (in plug box) beets have been planted here in 3 rows in the middle of the bed. In the outer rows, spinach was sown at the beginning of April, which is probably eaten before the stalk beans are to be planted out in a month's time. The beets thus get a few months of growth under reasonably reasonable light conditions until the darkness descends over them. The stalk beans are well finished and removed by September, when the beets will once again get light and can grow further - if all goes well.