Beet harvest is quick and simple! When do you harvest beets? The best beets tend to be dark in color, juicy, and firm, with a smooth surface. In general, the roots are ready to harvest when they are a few inches in diameter, somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball size. Expect to harvest your crop around 50-70 days after planting.
Gently pull the beet top near base of the beet until it breaks out of the ground. Cut off the tops, reserving 1-2 inches of the stems so they don't bleed. Store them in a perforated plastic tub ( in a dark, cool space) and leave them unwashed until ready to use.
Keep your tops! Beet greens are great for salads. Lightly pinch with your thumb and first finger at the end of the green where it meets the stem, and slide it up firmly to peel the green off the stem. Done! You can rinse and use the greens for a salad, or saute like spinach.
What you'll need :
mason jars + lids + rings
large pot for waterbathing
2 large stock pots - one to boil beets, one to make brine
large bowls for ice bath, skinning
spice bag or cheese cloth
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. clove
1 tsp. allspice
This is the recipe I received from my grandma. Minimal directions, as she knew it all from heart. I've provided a more step-by-step process which I gleaned from watching her, for those of us who are still rookies in the canning game, preferring steps to check off!
1. Clean and cut the tops and bottoms off your beets. While doing this, you can start making your brine. Boil the water, vinegar, sugar and lemon juice with a tightly sealed spice bag filled with the cinnamon, clove and allspice for 15 min.
2. Add the prepared beets to a large pot of water, bringing it to a boil about 8-10 min. After boiling place beets into an ice bath to start cooling. Slip the skins off at this time.
3. Cut beets into desired shape and size, then add beets into the brine, and boil until fork tender. Reserve the brine. Pack beets into mason jars.
4. Ladle reserved brine into jars, with about 1/2 inch headspace and tightly seal them with a lid and ring. Give jars a hot waterbath for 10 minutes. * Fully submerge jars under boiling water* Pull jars and let cool on the counter. Listen for the pops to let you know they are properly sealing! Store in a cool, dark place.
*makes 6 pints - I double my recipe for the amount of beets I grow