A Family Favourite

Gardener:Northland Backyard Gardener

Date:06 Sep 2022

Blog Type:Vegetables

There are many things that I permanently have growing in my garden: Lettuce; spring onions; carrots; beetroot

When my youngest was about 2 or 3 he discovered beetroot, and when we turned our backs, he would actually steal it off our plates. His love of any veggies pickled or in brine has grown from there. In fact one year he made us plant a 'pickling garden'.

Looking back, I think beetroot must have also been one of those staples that was in my mum's garden too as our pantry was always adorned with jars of preserved beetroot, along with her peaches, apple, and homemade jams. And now in her 70s, her pantry still looks the same, but instead of stealing them, I can actually swap things with her.

Until a few years ago, I will admit, beetroot done in vinegar, water and sugar was the only way I knew how to eat them. I then discovered that you could roast them, and grate them, and even add them to baking. I even got my mum roasting them. I suppose if I reflect on the fact that I didn't realise you could do other things with them, I can see how you can be reliant on modeling from others. Whether that is a parent; sibling; grandparent; caregiver; educator or even learning new tips and tricks on here from others. I guess if we are encouraging people to take on gardening to be more sustainable and to reduce costs of living, we also need to ensure that people know how to cook or prepare meals with these different produce. 

At the moment, these ones are in my soon-to-be 12-year-old's garden. Thankfully many of them are at a size where I can start using them, as I know within about 6 weeks, my produce is likely to get its eviction order. 

As a full-time working parent, over time I have managed to refine how I do things, especially when it comes to the preserving side of things. When the boys were little, I often had to wait until they were asleep to ensure I could complete tasks without being interrupted. Now with beetroot, I often cook them up in the morning while I am getting reading and prepping lunches etc. I will then leave them to cool, and place in the fridge. When I get home, I complete the final stages of it while getting dinner. By breaking tasks down, I find things more manageable, and am more inclined to get things done. I also don't necessarily bottle them. I have the most amazing container for them to go in. If you ever stumble across the Tupperware Pick A Deli in a second hand shop, I highly recommend getting one. I have two of these, and can fit approx 2 or 3 jars worth in one. When one is getting close to being empty, I do the next one. It means we generally have one in the fridge at all times. 

A Family Favourite