ALLCASTLE PRINCETON + make it

It has to be done.

The late season garden is coming along. The peas are doing well and climbing up their little string trellis. The beets are looking good. The beans are on the verge of blooming, and I'm longing for the taste of fresh green beans again. The soil that is not being used to grow fall crops is sprouting some nice rye grass cover. Well, rye grass and some tiny green beans.

I let my beans get away from me this year. I had already canned a sufficient amount, the corn was ripe, and I just couldn't keep up with the beans. They went to seed. I considered saving the seeds, but I think I want to try a different variety next year. So, the plants got tilled under before the rye grass was planted. With the rye grass, many little half runners sprouted too. I don't think they will be able to produce anything before the frosts come, but we will see.

In the little garden where vegetable are intended to be growing, I had to do the most dreaded of garden tasks this week; thinning the plants. It pains me to thin the plants. After all, they are perfectly good plants, plants that I put there in the form of seeds. Yet, they must go to make room for the chosen ones that remain to produce a better crop. It has to be done.

The beets needed thinned. They needed room to make nice fat roots for me to pickle. Thinning beets isn't quite as painful as thinning some other plants in the garden. With beets the thinnings can be used, not just dumped on the compost pile.

Young beet greens, like these, can be put right into salad. They are delicious, and remind me of spinach or swiss chard. Ours were used without any other greens in a simple salad with chickpeas and carrots. I made hot bacon dressing to top it, and it was so good.

If you have older beet greens, they may be a little tough for salad greens. Use them as cooked greens.

Thinning the garden plants may be one of my least favorite jobs in the garden, but it has to be done. At least there is some consolation in thinning plants like beets that can be used.

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It has to be done. + make it