The beetroot family includes beetroot, spinach and chard. All are easy to grow and can be sold as plants at both spring and summer farmers markets. If the class wants to sell produce be aware that chards and spinach wilt quickly once harvested so can be difficult to keep looking fresh and attractive on a stall. The class might want to grow the beetroot family, harvest and cook it to sell at the farmers market. This vegetable family may not need to use any of the raised beds in the garden.
September If beetroot family has been grown in the raised beds, harvest any beetroot left from the previous summer crops and clear the raised bed with beetroot in ready for another class. It is VERY important that beetroot are NOT grown in the same place each year. Ideally they should be grown where brassica grew the previous school year. Work with the class group that grew these the previous school year to take over the raised beds and mark as growing beetroot. Note: the class growing Onions will also want to take on brassica beds. Agree if the class will sell the beetroot family as a crop; many of beetroot family are easier to sell as plants.
Sept/Oct If planting outside, sow spinach to overwinter. This will be ready to harvest, or harvest and cook for the spring market.
February Sow Chard, spinach and beetroot in the poly tunnel in trays, modules or small pots. Label carefully and keep moist. They should germinate quickly. Pot on when the seedlings have 2 leaves. Sow more seeds every 2 weeks.
March prepare for the Farmers Market. If outside spinach has been sown and grown, decide how to use it at the farmers market.
April If planting outside, plant out chard and beetroot. As these are very colourful plants, if there is no room in the raised beds, consider using them as ornamentals in other parts of the garden.
May Sow more seeds to sell as plants at the summer farmers market. Keep moist, label clearly and pot on as before.
June If any chard or spinach starts to bolt – trying to flower and create seed, pull it out and compost the plants. Keep pots moist.
July Prepare for farmers market.
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