SELF SUFFICIENCY SKILLS: BEET, SILVER (SEA KALE BEET)

Silver beet is grown not for the roots but for the sterns and leaves. The celery-like stalks and the very broad midribs, silvery white in colour, are cooked as sea kale. The rest of the leaf is used as spinach.

As a two-uses crop it deserves any space given to it.

Ready for Use. During May and June, and in late summer, according to when sown.

Soil Preparation. Unlike ordinarv beet, this plant needs really rich soil, and recent manuring will not harm it. Dig in hop manure, or other animal manure substitute, or decayed leaves and similar soft refuse. It reaches 2 ft. in height, and needs something rich down below to do itself justice.

How and When to Sow. Sow very thinly in a 1 in. deep drill, and transplant the seedlings, when large enough to handle, to the prepared row or rows, not less than 12 in. apart in the row; rows also to be 12 in. apart.

Sow at the end of April for late summer use; in August to secure a crop the following May to June.

To prepare for table lift the plants when ready for use. Remove the leafy parts from stems and thick ribs, wash and cook as spinach. Wash the stems and ribs, and cook these as sea kale. The roots are discarded. Food value is increased by the plant’s twofold use.

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