Roasting Your Garden Beets

My brother and sister-in-law, Nick and Jericho, recently left on a trip out West to visit Jericho’s family.  One of their requests before they left is that I check on their garden when they are gone and pick whatever is ready.
So a few days after they were out of dodge, my Grandma, Ivy and I went over to scope things out.  What did we come home with?  A bucket full of zucchini, carrots, green beans, peas and beets.
I just recently have acquired a love for beets.  I’m not sure why it’s taken me all these years but the nonetheless, I sure enjoy eating them now!  I decided to roast them up in the oven for dinner, something I had never tried before.
I washed the beets and cut off the leaves, leaving about an inch of stem.  Then I wrapped them in foil – just like you would with a baked potato.  On a cookie sheet, I placed the wrapped beets in the 400 degree oven for 55-65 minutes.  Near the end of the baking process, I stuck a fork in the center of the beets to makes sure they were tender.
After letting the beets cool a little bit, I took a paper towel and rubbed off the outer skin.  This is another way to know if the beets have cooked long enough.  If cooked long enough, the skin should come off easily.
I let the beets cool down and then sliced one up for our family to try.  My 1 year old daughter, Ivy, loved them!  Her face was covered in purple beet juice – quite a site to see!
If you have a bounty of beets, roasting is just one of the many ways you can enjoy eating them!
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If you have any questions or would simply like to share your garden harvest with us, please email us at!

Grandma’s Zucchini Bread Recipe

I love using our abundance of zucchini to make mini loaves of zucchini bread to give away to family and friends.  It tastes great and who doesn’t love a small snack of Grandma’s zucchini bread?

If you would like to try Grandma’s recipe, here you go!

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cup white sugar
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups zucchini

Combine all of the ingredients and pour into a loaf pan.  Bake 40-60 minutes at 325 degrees.



What’s up with the funky shaped cucumber?

We are all used to the perfectly shaped cucumbers that line the produce shelves at the grocery store.  There’s never a funky, misshaped cucumber that makes it out to the public eye.  So we grow our own cucumbers at home, expecting to see perfectly shaped, non-blemished cucumbers.
But what happens?  We go to harvest our cucumbers and find a funky shaped one, or maybe two.  Do you know why this happens?  There are several reasons.
First and foremost, your deformed cucumber could be a result of poor pollination.  Like any other flowering plant, cucumbers require pollination in order to grow properly.  The best way for pollination to occur is for honey bees to do all the work!  If the honey bee population is low or non-existent in your area, specifically your garden, then your cucumbers will fail to grow properly.
If you consistently have this problem year after year, you may want to invest in a hive or two of bees!  Your cucumbers won’t be the only thing to flourish with bees around!
Another reason for a deformed cucumber is hot temperatures.  Hot temperatures can actually kill the pollen, resulting in a deformed cucumber.
Consequently, hot temperatures can cause moisture stress to the cucumbers which also can cause a funky shape.  Cucumbers need plenty of water to grow properly.
The good news is even though your cucumber may have a deformed end, it is still edible and will still taste good!
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