Lutz Green Leaf (Winter Keeper) Beet
This beet is known for its long storage and notable sweet tender flavor. It is a smooth purple-red, top-shaped beet, 2 1/4 - 3" in diameter. The 14-18" tops with pink midribs are good for greens, excellent keeper, can grow up to about 6" in diameter without getting woody, good fresh, for winter and fall use. Treasured for their long storage, sweetness and mouth watering giant, glossy green tops. Very popular with the Amish and Mennonites for generations.
No less an authority than Mrs. David Burpee declares, ''I like the old-fashioned Lutz Green Leaf beet that may not be as handsome, but I think are the sweetest.'' Enjoy them boiled, pickled, roasted, or fresh in salad. The glossy, fuchsia-veined foliage is a delightful, hearty eating green. Harvest them over a long period since they don't become woody or pithy.
Both leaf beets and root beets were developed from wild seabeets, along coastal Europe and western Asia. Beet greens—the beet tops—have been eaten and enjoyed for several thousands of years. The Romans particularly liked beet greens and discovered that the roots were tasty as well! The beet gained in popularity in Europe and America during the 1700s. The juice from the beets is used to make the only red food coloring allowed by Swedish law.
While the beets are growing you can pick up to a third of the leaves and use them fresh or cooked. When the beet roots are 2-3" in diameter, it is time to harvest them. Pull or dig them up, and cut off the stems. Leave on a 1-2" of stem if you are going to store the roots.
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