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The Early Blood Beet Turnip:

     Appropriately named for its historic persistence, the Early Blood Turnip Beet has been around as “early” as 1825. The Early Blood Turnip Beet was first bred and cultivated by seedsmen Sinclair & Moore of Baltimore, Maryland, when the region was booming with many varieties of tropical fruits and foreign vegetables brought to the Chesapeake area by refugee gardeners from Saint Dominique. Although this beet was able to grow in the sometimes difficult, seasonal conditions of Maryland, its variable rate of maturity (48-68 days) made it less desirable for commercial harvest and distribution; thus it began to disappear from seed catalogs in the early 20th century. While the varietal today is one of the rarer, more endangered seed types, it is perfectly suited for the patient home gardener or any farming endeavor. 


     The beet itself is an all-purpose variety. As it reaches maturity, the dark red flesh remains flavorful and tender, with a clove-like aroma and a flavor more sweet than earthy.  The beet has also been described as jucy when roasted, enhancing notes of cinnamon and transforming the apple-like, slightly astringent flavor of its raw form into a beet possessing a tart, rich finish with a tinge of heat. When eaten raw, its flavor has also been described as sour and tangy. An ingredient as versatile as this is certainly a much-loved member of the Plant a Seed family! 

THE SEED DEET: 
Everything you need to know about caring for your Early Blood Turnip Beet!

1. SOIL AND WATERING: 
Beets grow best in loamy, acidic soils with pH levels ranging between 6.0 and 7.5. The soil should be well-drained, but if your soil contains clay (clay is too heavy for large roots to grow), mix with one inch of compost. Wait to plant until the soil’s temperature is between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. After planting, water just to moisten the soil. Small, young plants do not require as much water as those close to maturity; however, their relatively shallow roots may need water a bit more frequently. To determine if you should water your crop, dig down into the soil with your fingers near your beets. You want the soil at 3″ deep to be slightly moist. If it's wet, hold off on watering. If it's dry, give them a shallow soak.

2. GROWING, MATURATION, AND HARVESTING:  
The seeds should be sown outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. In the early or late spring, the seeds will germinate in 5-10 days and can be planted at two-week intervals for continuous harvests; seeds can then be planted again in the late summer. This varietal has a longer range of maturation, which can last between 48-68 days. The beet will grow to 4-4.5 inches in diameter when ready for harvest. Even better: all parts of the beet plant are edible! 

3. STORAGE:

Fresh beets can be stored in the refrigerator for 5–7 days (clipping the tops off beets will keep them fresher for longer). They have an extremely long root cellar shelf life of up to 8 months.  Use Early Blood Turnip Beet fresh, canned, frozen or pickled.

KNOW YOUR ZONE

Zones 2 and 3:  An early crop can be planted in March. If you are planting an early crop, plant inside in the beginning of March  and transplant to the field in April. Otherwise, seeds can be sown between late March thru June. A late crop may be planted anytime between June and September. Space plantings about 20 days apart.

Zone 4: April-July 
Zone 5: March-July 
Zone 6: March-May for an early crop, then again in July 
Zone 7: Plant outside February-March for an early crop. 
Late: August-September 
Zone 8: Transplanting: plant in seed trays in January, then transfer to field in February. 
Field: Plant February-March (early) or August-September (late). 
Zones 9-10: September-March 

Row 7's Badger Flame Beet:

In an interview with Grow Magazine, seed breeder Irwin Goldman recalls: “If you talk to consumers about beets, you’ll find a few people that say they love them and can’t get enough of them, but you’ll find many more who say, “I can’t stand them because they taste like dirt”. 
       This is because beets contain a special compound called geosmin, which gives the vegetable its earthy aroma and “dirt-y” flavor. As a professor and chair at University of Wisconsin’s (Madison) horticulture department, Goldman therefore sought to transform the beet’s sullied reputation. Fortunately he had some help: in the 1990s, Martha Stewart began to advocate for the beet’s utilization in home kitchens, skyrocketing the vegetable’s popularity. The endorsement thusly jump-started the seed breeder’s 15-year journey to develop the Badger Flame series of beets. The results: The Badger Flame, Badger Torch, and Badger Sunset beets were released as finished varieties in 2012 in partnership with with UW–Madison vegetable breeder Nick Breitbach. 


Despite the official release of the beet varieties, Goldman never stopped tinkering and refining his seeds. Soon enough he was collaborating with Dan Barber and Jack Algiere, the Farm Director at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to make the most satisfying and delicious beet possible. Algiere sowed, watered and harvested these beets for several years, selecting the best from each crop with Row 7 seedsman Matthew Goldfarb. Today, the Badger Flame beet is low in geosmin, high in sweetness, and packed with flavor. In addition, each packet of Badger Flame seeds purchased supports public plant breeding research at University of Wisconsin-Madison, keeping the heart of tradition and innovation beet-ing for many years to come. 

 

THE SEED DEET: 
Everything you need to know about caring for your Badger Flame Beet!

1. SOIL AND WATERING: 
The soil should be light, workable, well-drained, and possess an optimal pH over 6.0. The soil’s temperature should be between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to note that a Boron deficiency in the soil can cause internal browning; confirm adequate boron levels with a soil test. After planting, water just to moisten the soil. Small, young plants do not require as much water as those close to maturity; however, their relatively shallow roots may need water a bit more frequently. To determine if you should water your crop, dig down into the soil with your fingers near your beets. You want the soil at 3″ deep to be slightly moist. If it's wet, hold off on watering. If it's dry, give them a shallow soak.

2. GROWING, MATURATION, AND HARVESTING:
Direct seeding: Sow seeds 1/2″ deep well-worked soils. The beets can be seeded throughout the season until 8 weeks prior to hard frost. Sow seeds every 1”; thin seedlings to 3-4’’ apart depending on desired size. It will take about 5-8 days until emergence, slower in cold soil.

Transplanting: Start seeds indoors 5-7 weeks before last frost. Sow seeds 1/2” deep. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 85˚F.Start seeds every 2-3 weeks for continuous harvest until 8 weeks before hard frost. Move transplants outdoors to harden off gradually for 3-5 days, protecting seedlings from wind, strong sun, hard rain and cold. Transplant outdoors 2-3 weeks after sowing, when soil temperatures reach at least 45˚F. 
STORAGE: Fresh beets can be stored in the refrigerator for 5–7 days (clipping the tops off beets will keep them fresher for longer). Store at 38-42˚F and 95% humidity for best results. Will store up to 6 months. Monitor quality. 

KNOW YOUR ZONE: 

Zones 2 and 3: Transplanting: plant inside in the beginning of March and transplant to field in April.
In the Field: seeds can be sown between late March-June. A late crop may be planted anytime between June and September. Space plantings about 20 days apart.
Zone 4: April-July 
Zone 5: March-July 
Zone 6: Plant outside March-May for an early crop, then again in July 
Zone 7: Plant outside February-March for an early crop. Late: August-September 
Zone 8: Transplanting: plant in seed trays in January, then transfer to field in February. 
Field: Plant February-March (early) or August-September (late). 
Zones 9-10: September-March