Thinning the beets - photo added

Sweet Tatorman's picture

As I expect is the case with most vegetable gardeners I have a few early in the season harvest events which reliably bring me special pleasure. Probably for many folks with very limited space it would be their first vine ripened tomato if they are fortunate to be in a tomato worthy climate. I have a much larger garden area and thus some earlier pleasure evoking mileposts. For me, in order of occurrence, these are first asparagus, first strawberries, and first thinned beets. With beets I generally seed heavily and thin as needed. Beet seed is cheap. I generally buy 1/4 lb at a time and this will last me for at least five years. Cooked beet greens with baby beet attached are one of those things that you are only likely to enjoy if you grow them or are fortunate enough to be given. I don't ever recall seeing them offered for sale. Full size beets have coarse textured skin that most folk including me would not care to eat. Baby beets up to an inch in diameter have tender skin which can be eaten along with the beet and greens. Thinned beets with baby beets attached are the easiest beets and greens you will ever deal with. At this stage the greens are mostly pristine so no ugly (or very few at most) leaves to be culled out before cooking. Prep is simply rinsing off any soil and cooking. I am now enjoying them. I am also looking forward to taking a load of them to a social event this Memorial day weekend as I anticipate there will be several folks there that will be willing and eager to give them a try.
So, a question for the members here. Do you have particular first harvest items that hold special significance for you?

Photo below of pristine thinnings. A couple of the pictured roots at ~1 inch are near the upper limit for cooking them along with the greens.

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We've been growing Johnny's All-Star Lettuce mix for years. Because we're indifferent gardeners, some of it bolts and sets seeds.
Over time, the lettuces self-select for a hardier mix and we lose some of the daintier varieties.
I live harvesting the first sets of leaves from between the sidewalk pavers.
Free, effortless, and very good because they're meltingly tender (as lettuce goes).