Preserving for Fall

After nearly losing our whole beet crop earlier this summer, we were so happy to harvest pounds and pounds of beets this weekend. We left some in the ground, where they should be fine as long as the ground doesn’t freeze. The first thing we did was roast a couple of pans of beets with shallots, rosemary, and olive oil to get them ready for pickling:

We also roasted a couple more pans without the seasoning, so we could peel and freeze them. The frozen beets can be used throughout the winter for tarts, brownies, and other goodies. 

We also still have a whole crisper drawer full of beets that we haven’t done anything with — yet.

After clipping some rosemary for the roast beets, I dug up our plant and potted it for the winter. In the past I have always held out hope that enough mulch would help it through, but it’s just too cold here in the winter for rosemary. It will sit in a sunny window until spring.

By the way, if you attended my wedding you might recognize the pot!

Other herbs were also trimmed back today, and the last bunches are drying on the porch:

Hanging outside are sage, oregano and savory; not pictures is a tray full of thyme, which is drying inside the house. We also finished all of the winter mulching to protect our winter root crops, so things are just about ready for winter here — everything except the weather, that is: Tomorrow it’s supposed to be in the 60s.

We had hoped to let the chickens out into the garden now that there’s nothing left for them to destroy — other than the remains of broccoli and cabbages that we’re keeping around as fodder, anyway. We did let them out today, and they were having a grand time scratching in the leaves and eating worms — right up until they got dive-bombed by a hawk!

Everyone’s fine, but they all ran straight back into the run, where they stayed for the rest of the afternoon. 

Maybe we'll try again tomorrow.


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