The Month of Silverbeet (and how to make it edible)

September has really been the month of silverbeet. This much maligned vegetable is crucial for us over the late winter and spring, when other winter crops such as beetroot are long gone, and ones like courgette, tomato, and cucumber are yet to come. Its also great for your health, and one of the easiest to grow. In fact silverbeet is one of the few I dont need to sow - I just transplant them from wherever they sprout up as 'weeds' back into an orderly row.

We use silverbeet wherever you might use spinach - its great in quiches, and on its own it is completely transformed to something gourmet with the addition of lemon juice and rock salt. Just squeeze over lemon juice and sprinkle with rock salt after steaming, or if you are doing a BBQ, roughly chop the silverbeet, pile onto a sheet of tinfoil, generously add lemon juice and rock salt, and then fold up into a parcel. Then place it on the BBQ plate for 5-10 minutes before serving - its absolutely delicious!

Its been a busy month in the garden. Our climbing beans (Dalmation, Scarlett Runner, Purple King, Borlotti Stoppa) are planted and beginning to climb, and I have recently planted courgettes, cucumber (F1 Diva and Tasty Queen), spring onion, lettuces, coriander, carrots (Scarlett Nantes and Belgian White), strawberries, beetroot, and the first tomatoes. In a couple of weeks time the seeds sown indoors back in August (eggplant, capsicum, basil, tomatoes) will be ready for planting too.

The value of the yield from our garden this month was a nice surprise, thanks to the plentiful harvest of silverbeet, herbs, and mesclun (tat soi, mizuna, cress, lettuce, corn salad, bok choi, calendula) (see the table below for details). Hopefully this is encouragement to get out there, get your soil humming, and turn those dreams of summer bounty to reality.

Till next time,

 Tim






kg/quantityprice value
oranges 0.75 2.49 1.87
jerusalem artichoke 0.8 5 4.00
oregano 1 3.25 3.25
bay leaves 1 4.96 4.96
mesclun 5 3.68 18.40
parsley 2 2.99 5.98
rosemary 1 3.25 3.25
thyme 1 3.25 3.25
spring onion 1 2.29 2.29
lemons 2 0.63 1.26
garlic 1 1.32 1.32
silverbeet 4 3.75 15.00



 $        64.83








costs


courgette plant

1.99
lettuce 2 punnets

2.58
strawberry plants 3

5.97
blitzem half packet

2.00
mesclun seeds

3.00



 $        15.54




5 hours of time (weeding and soil preparation)






benefit minus costs

 $        49.29