This week, the kids will be trying grapes and Chioggia Beet cubes.

I am sure that most of us have had grapes, but did you know that most wine and seedless grapes, Vitis vinifera, are not originally from North America, but were brought over by Europeans. Concord grapes, Vitis labrusca, are native to North America, and have been crossed with Old World grape varieties to produce many of the disease resistant grapes that are grown around the world today. California has some of the best condition20150712_112402 (720x1280)s for growing grapes and wines, table grapes and raisins are shipped worldwide. Nevada is growing more grapes than ever and some varieties do well in our Northern Nevada climate. If you are interested in adding grapes to your gardens or landscape, contact us and we can assist you in selecting plants that will do well here.

I love vegetables, but I used to despise beets. Then, an office mate in graduate school introduced me to the roasted beet. I love them! Just like carrots caramelize and become sweet and savory when roasted, so will beets. Chioggia or Candy Cane beet varieties were developed in Italy and are a beautiful vegetable. This is a photo from my kitchen with 4 varieties of beets prepared to be roasted. Just peel the root, slice or cube, add a small amount of oil and salt and roast in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes until tender with brown crispy edges.  I also have a great pickled beet recipe from an old cook book that is great. Email me and I will send you the recipe. Chard and beets are the same species of plant, just different varieties. You can eat beet greens just like you would chard. They can also be juiced or chopped into salads. Give beets a chance and you just might find a way that you like them.