Growing beets is a great way to liven up any northern garden. The leaves are a nutritious addition to soups or sautéed on their own with a little garlic and butter. To pick leaves, pull plant out leaving one beet plant six inches this will give room for nearby beet roots to grow. Once the beet roots start to get big you can put some up in jars by pickling them. My family loves putting out a plate of pickled beets for big dinners, but they are great for snacking on or putting in sandwiches. Photo credit: CIER
Pre heat oven to 325oF. Wash beets, removing leaves, and place in a roasting or baking pan with ½ inch of water. Roast beets for about 45 minutes. Beets should be tender, easily pierced with a fork. Once done allow to cool for 15 minutes. Trim the ends and peel off skins. Cut beets into slices or wedges.
In large saucepan, bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to boil; boil until sugar and salt are dissolved, about 5 minutes. Wash and boil three 500 ml canning jars in a large pot for 15 minutes. Soak lids in hot water. Divide the remaining spices into the jars and tightly pack within beets leaving about an inch to the rim. Pour hot vinegar mixture into packed jars, leaving ½ inch of space. Cover with canning lids. Screw on bands and boil in a large pot or water canner for 30 minutes. Pull the beets out to cool. Once they have cooled down, check the seals by removing the bands and tipping the jars upside down. If any liquid escapes they have not been sealed. Unsealed jars will keep for at least 2 months in the fridge. Sealed jars can be kept in a dark, cool place for at least 8 months.